Seeking loan repayment, bank staff protest outside hospital

Seeking loan repayment, bank staff protest outside hospital

About 100 employees of the Union Bank of India (UBI), who had gathered in front of Vikram Hospital here on Tuesday to protest the failure of the hospital to repay a Rs 100-crore loan it had taken from the bank, were chased away by the police.

Some people were taken into preventive custody.

According to the bank, Vikram Hospital, presently run by Dr Vikram and Multiple Private Equity headed by former ICICI Venture Capital chief Renuka Ramnath, has been availing itself of the bank’s loan facilities since 2009. “Though the patient occupancy at the hospital is full, with daily earnings of about Rs 50 lakh, it has not made any repayment of the loans taken from us,” UBI chief regional manager Rangaswamy Ilango, who led the protest, told Deccan Herald.

Ilango said when the bank employees alighted from their vehicles at around 11.30 am, they were rounded up by the police, and about 25 of them were taken to the Seshadripuram police station. “The police were informed about our protest. Our only aim was to claim the repayment of the Rs 100-crore loan from the hospital. Our employees, including women, were manhandled by the police. It was only at around 3.30 pm that we were let off,” Ilango said.

“The hospital has opened accounts with other banks, where it is diverting its funds. But we will continue our efforts to get our loan repaid,” Ilango said.

The bank has already sought symbolic possession of the hospital. “We are awaiting permission from the Chief Judicial Magistrate to take possession of the hospital, following which, we will seal it and decide on further course of action,” he said.

The police said the bank employees had not taken permission to stage a protest and they were not allowed to protest in front of a hospital as it would disturb patients. “We told them to obtain permission and stage a protest near Town Hall, but they did not,” said a police officer.

‘Matter is sub judice’

Sudhir Pai, executive director and CEO, Vikram Hospital, said they have been in talks with senior officials of the United Bank of India for over two years to check the possibility of getting the loan restructured. However, not much came of it. “Vikram Hospital Bengaluru was a ‘non-performing asset’ and our new investors invested in the company on the assurance that the past debt will be restructured immediately by the bank to support the hospital's operations and help service the debt in the future. However, the bank has not honoured its commitment and the matter is now sub judice. Any unceremonious act for recovery will only impact the growth path that the hospital has set itself onto and lead to severe loss of value for both, debt and equity holders,” he said.

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019

Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Comments (+)