Jet Airways en route to clearing tax dues

Jet Airways said today it has mutually agreed with tax authorities on a payment schedule for pending service tax dues of around Rs70 crore; and that it would pay Rs35 crore in two days.

Denying reports on Monday that its bank accounts had been attached by the Central Board of Excise and Customs, Jet said in a statement that an amount of Rs35 crore has already been received by the service tax department, and ''the balance Rs35 crore will be paid in full on 15 March."

Jet Air is facing pilot agitations similar to those at Kingfisher Airlines and Air India over delay in salary payments. However its difficulties are not quite as acute as those of Kingfisher and AI, the state-run carrier.

Jet added that the service tax department has been in touch with International Air Transport Association (IATA) so that its dues from the international air cooperative are held against its dues.

An IATA statement from Singapore on Monday said, "The Indian tax authority has served IATA with a garnishment for the amounts owed to the tax authorities by Jet Airways."

Garnishment is a warning served on a third party to hold money or property belonging to a debtor who is being sued or prosecuted by a creditor.