The government has de-freezed the bank accounts of debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines and Air India after the two air carriers made part-payment of their service tax dues.
"As they (Kingfisher and Air India) have made part-payments of service tax dues, the department has lifted the freeze on their accounts," a top finance ministry official told PTI.
The accounts were de-freezed yesterday, sources said.
Kingfisher has given a written "undertaking" that it will pay the remaining dues toward service tax by March 31, 2012.
The Vijay Mallya-promoted airline had paid about Rs 9 crore toward its service tax dues for the month of November, while the state-owned carrier paid Rs 8 crore.
Earlier this month, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) had frozen 10 accounts of Kingfisher Airlines and 11 of Air India for allegedly defaulting on service tax payments, despite collecting the same from passengers.
On Monday, Mallya had met CBEC Chairman S K Goel and requested de-freezing of the airline's bank accounts. The department reportedly asked him to at least pay the dues for the month of November.
Goel had said the Mallya-promoted airlines owed about Rs 110 crore in service tax to the exchequer for the April-November period, while Air India had defaulted on the payment of Rs 310 crore.
On December 9, the government informed Parliament that banks have no plans to carry out a second round of debt restructuring for Kingfisher Airlines, which has outstanding loans worth around Rs 6,419 crore.