Saturday, September 19, 2020

Air India defaults on TDS, EPF payments as Centre mulls on how to sell the carrier

New Delhi: Cash-strapped Air India has been defaulting on statutory dues such as tax deducted at source (TDS) and Employees’ Provident Fund (PF) payments, said people with knowledge of the matter. This comes as the government considers how best to sell the state-owned national carrier, having failed to offload a majority stake two years ago.

The airline denied it was behind on TDS but didn’t respond to queries on PF.

“Air India has already deposited the TDS. Distribution of Form 16 is also under process,” the airline said in an email to ET.

Government officials told ET otherwise. “Air India has not made payments against TDS and PF since January this year. TDS dues is in the range of ?26 crore till March-end and the PF dues runs into several crores,” said one of them.

An airline spokesperson said that “they would not like to make any further comment on the issue,” despite reminders about the PF matter.

Non-payment of PF and TDS impacts current employees as well as those who have retired and are waiting for their benefits. Air India, in its response, said former employees get PF arrears generally up to 60 days after leaving.

19/09/20 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

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