British Prime Minister Theresa May today dropped in on a meeting between Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his UK counterpart during which the issue of “certain individuals who have overstayed” here figured, official sources told PTI.
Jaitley met Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond at his office in No 11 Downing Street in London.
Brexit and its implications on India-UK ties and the issue of “certain individuals who have overstayed their welcome” in Britain, in an apparent reference to liquor baron Vijay Mallya, were among the topics that were touched upon during the “drop-in”, sources said.
WATCH VIDEO | From Brexit To Mallya, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Discusses Key Issues With His UK Counterpart
“It sends a signal, like her visit to India did last November when she chose the country as her first outside Europe. The message on Brexit was that it is not a mandate for protectionism and that the UK looks forward to being an open trading nation outside the European Union (EU),” sources said.
Mallya, the chief of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, moved to UK in March last year after banks began legal action to recover around $1.4 billion owed by the airline.
Earlier this month, the Government formally requested the UK to extradite him to India to stand trial for alleged loan default and money laundering.
During his talks with Hammond, Jaitley discussed a range of issues around the forthcoming India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue and the India-UK sub-fund under the National Infrastructure Fund.
Earlier in the day, the Minister held meetings with investors organised by JP Morgan. After a meeting with UK-based investors organised by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), he will head back to India at the end of his five-day visit.
Yesterday at a media briefing, Jaitley had said: “We take this issue of defaults against the financial system in India very seriously and we have already sent a strong signal that
if (you) dupe the exchequer or dupe the banking system, the government of India will lend its full support to all financial institutions to recover up to their last pie…because of this strong position…some defaulters are on the run. Being on the run, they find refuge in certain other jurisdictions, exploiting the systems in other parts of the world.”
Jaitley represented India at the launch of the UK-India Year of Culture at Buckingham Palace in London last night.