Kingfisher has Rs 40 crore in tax dues: CBEC

 Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines has to pay Rs 40 crore dues in indirect taxes by March 31, Central Baord of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chairman S K Goel said today.

"Kingfisher had an outstanding (service) tax dues of Rs 70 crore and the company had promised to pay in installments," Goel said on the sidelines of a function here to hand over Presidential Awards to custom and excise officials.

The company paid Rs 10 crore in December, Rs 20 crore in January and they have to pay Rs 20 crore in February, he said.

"Few more days left in February. They will pay, I am sure and in March they will pay the remaining Rs 20 crore. So, they will pay all the arrears by March 31...I hope so," Goel said.

Asked if the board has frozen any of their account, he said, "No...CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) has frozen their account, not us."

He said, "In my knowledge, there is no issue of service tax. They have given time till February 29 and then by March 31 to pay off all their arrears. As of now, they have paid only Rs 30 crore plus and Rs 40 crore remaining as arrear."

The beleaguered airline has been in a financial mess and is unable be meet its obligations.

The company's net loss widened to Rs 444.26 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, due to high fuel costs and weaker rupee from Rs 253.69 crore in the October-December quarter in the last fiscal.

The airlines suffered a loss of Rs 1,027 crore in 2010-11 and has a debt of Rs 7,057.08 crore, latest figures show.

A 13-bank consortium, led by State Bank of India, is considering providing short-term funding to the airline but the quantum of support is yet to be decided, sources said.
Meanwhile, Kingfisher, whose services remained affected for the sixth day today, has filed a fresh flight schedule with DGCA, scaling down its operations to about 170 daily flights with 28 functional aircraft.

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