Civil aviation policy to be announced next month

Hyderabad, March 16 (IANS) The much-awaited civil aviation policy is expected to be announced next month, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said on Wednesday.

“”We are working on the policy. It is in an advanced stage. We are hopeful that by April the policy will be out,” he told reporters at India Aviation 2016, the country’s largest civil aviation conference and exhibition which began here.

He said for the first time, the policy was put in public domain and suggestions were called for. “Suggestions emerged. We are also seeking guidance from senior ministers in the government of India. There are 22 items. The will be implications. Growth definitely has its implications,” he said.

On prices of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), he said in India, ATF prices had been traditionally higher because of high taxation both by state and central governments.

The minister said while ATF prices came down worldwide, the whole benefit was not passed on to airlines.

He noted that while the central government and some states “adjusted” taxes on ATF, it remained highest priced in the world. “At the same we have the highest growth in terms of passenger traffic,” he said.

Raju said it was a fact that petroleum products in India are highly taxed.

Civil Aviation Secretary R. N. Chowbey clarified that there is no Value Added Tax (VAT) and excise duty on ATF sold to foreign airlines for travel abroad.

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