Taxman seeks to recover over Rs200 cr from Kingfisher

The financially crippled and currently grounded Kingfisher Airlines owes more than Rs200 crore in direct and indirect taxes and the revenue department is working on a plan to recover tax dues from debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines (KFA), Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) chairman Praveen Mahajan said today.

"As a matter of fact both the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the CBEC have quantified the amount which Kingfisher owes to the government and we will be drawing up a comprehensive plan to recover these dues," Mahajan told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by industry body CII in New Delhi.

Mahajan further said, "We have already frozen Kingfisher's accounts. Whatever is there in service tax act, we have taken all the actions because this is in our interest."

Kingfisher Airlines, promoted by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, has never made a profit since its inception in 2005, and is struggling to service its loans, meet airport charges and even pay its staff salaries.

When asked whether the CBEC is contemplating prosecuting the airline, Mahajan said, "Prosecution also might happen...But everything takes time. There are different steps you have to take before you prosecute somebody."

The CBEC chief indicated that the revenue department might talk to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation as the beleaguered airline is supposed to submit a comprehensive revival plan to the regulator by this month-end.

"Finance minister P Chidambaram has told CBDT and CBEC to get together and plan it out, whether it involves talking to regulator or whatever," he said.