Debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines on Friday failed to pay its service tax dues for December, which could lead to freezing of its bank accounts once again, a senior finance ministry official said.
"Kingfisher Airlines paid Rs 10 crore (April-November) arrears. We are still awaiting payment of the December dues," the official said.
In December 2011, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) had frozen 10 accounts of Kingfisher for allegedly defaulting on payment of service tax it collected from passengers. The accounts were de-frozen within a week after it made part-payment of the dues.
Kingfisher had also given a written undertaking to pay the remaining dues toward service tax by March 31, 2012.
The airline had earlier paid about Rs 9 crore toward its service tax dues for November. Apart from the monthly dues, it also owes about Rs 110 crore in service tax to the exchequer for the April-November period.
Earlier this week, the CBEC had asked Kingfisher to pay service tax for December by January 6 or face action, including freezing of its bank accounts, attachment of properties and imposition of additional penalties.
"The airline collects service tax from passengers. It cannot keep this in its accounts. Service tax for a month can be paid to the government by the fifth or sixth of next month," CBEC chairman S K Goel had recently said, warning that the "law will take its course" if the airline does not pay by the scheduled date.
A Kingfisher spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhuri yesterday called the Vijay Mallya-promoted airline a non-performing asset.
During the Winter Session, the government informed Parliament that banks had no plans to carry out a second round of debt restructuring for Kingfisher Airlines, which has outstanding loans worth around Rs 6,419 crore.