The tax department on Wednesday said it will not provide any “leeway” to Kingfisher Airlines in paying arrears of about Rs 60 crore and the firm has to pay the dues as soon as possible.

“Kingfisher has paid Rs 20 crore service tax last month and they have promised...that they will try to pay (the arrears) as early as they can. Arrears are now about Rs 60 crore,” Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chairman S.K. Goel told reporters on the sidelines of a FIEO event here.

“Whatever dues are there, they have to pay there is no question of leeway. They have to turn over whatever service tax they have collected from you and me,” Mr. Goel said when asked if the board is considering providing some leeway or elbow room to KFA for payment of dues.

Asked about the time-line provided to them for payment of arrear, he said “as soon as possible.”

The CBEC had defrozen KFA’s bank accounts after the struggling airline paid Rs 20 crore to the service tax authorities in March.

The airline’s bank accounts were also defrozen by the Income Tax department.

Following the account defreeze, KFA chairman Vijay Mallya promised to clear the outstanding salaries of employees from Wednesday.

Kingfisher has massively cut down its operations, including shutting down many domestic sectors and completely discontinuing international operations. From 400 flights a day before the crisis last November, it is operating just about 100 flights now.

The airline, which has a debt of Rs 7,000 crore, is under pressure from its lenders to inject fresh equity.

The debt-laden carrier terminated operations to 28 of its 56 destinations, including Hyderabad and Kolkata, over the past few days and asked about 40-50 per cent of its staff to stay at home till further orders.

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