Nepali Times
"Why only pick on me?"

Piyush Bahadur Amatya tops the list of Nepal Bank Limited defaulters. He owes the bank Rs 2.18 billion. The bank's management had recently requested Kathmandu based foreign missions not to grant Amatya and other defaulters visas. In an interview with Nepali Times, an angry Amatya reacts to the bank's move.

Nepali Times: What do you say about Nepal Bank Limited's recent move to request foreign missions not to grant visas to loan defaulters?
Piyush Bahadur Amatya: It's an unconstitutional move. This shows how foreigners are trampling on the law of the land. In other words, they don't give a damn about our rules and regulations. If it were not so, they would have never dared to ask the royal palace not to invite them.

But defaulters like you have ruined the bank. What else could it have done? This move is a part of corruption. International agencies like the World Bank are funding such moves. It's a well-organised corruption of the World Bank to get our economy in its clutch. But today everyone knows that wherever the World Bank enters, there is corruption.

This is getting vicious. Do you have something personal against the expat consultants managing Nepal Bank?
No, it's not personal. It is the outcome of immoral people who have ganged up against us.

So, tell us, are you going to back the money you borrowed?
What can I do when the situation is out of my control? When there is war going on, or if there is an earthquake, I can do nothing. Such circumstances can arise anywhere in the world. Nobody is talking about how bad it is for business. Even the World Bank, that claims to be running the country, is ignoring the impact of the crisis on the business.

Some say despite your troubles, you are still living lavishly. Buying new cars and building houses.
Who do you think is spending on new houses and cars? It is the banks which have been lending in non-productive areas like housing and vehicle loans. They have stopped spending in industries that generate employment and benefit the economy.

Does that mean you will never repay the loan?
I have always said that I will repay the loan. But why did they cancel the 12 year rescheduling that the bank had earlier granted to me? Other hotels got the extra time to repay the loans. Soaltee got 17 years to repay its loan. Yak & Yeti got eight years and now Hyatt has 20 years. So, why pick only on me?

What is your next move?
I have challenged the bank's moves against me in the court. I have filed many cases including defamation. I have been remaining quiet because my cases are still in the court. But, now this is not just against me. The whole business community has been offended. We are going for class litigation now. For that purpose, a cell has been formed at the FNCCI.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)