NCAP to boost tourism: Civil Aviation Minister

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Thursday said that the government has taken a number of initiatives to make tourism affordable and accessible to the international travellers.

The minister was speaking at the plenary session on “Core Infrastructure for Tourism” at the Incredible India Tourism Investors Summit.

The event was organised by the Ministry of Tourism in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Tourism Finance Corporation of India.

According to the minister, the recent National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) has taken an integrated approach to address the problem of air connectivity across regions and states.

He said the government has permitted 100 per cent FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) to attract greenfield and brownfield investment in airports, and enhanced FDI limit in airlines.

The Civil Aviation Minister pointed out that the 5:20 rule has been scrapped and that base fares are now capped for flights of one hour duration.

In June, the government had scrapped the 5/20 norm — that is an airline must have five years of domestic flying and a fleet of 20 aircraft to qualify to fly abroad.

The NCAP’s current provision has done away with the first five-year wait, but airlines will need 20 aircraft or fly 20 per cent of their total capacity on domestic routes first and then it will be allowed to operate abroad.

Further, the government is working towards an open sky policy with SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries, the minister added.

At the same event, Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said that the government is committed to lift India’s share of tourism from less than one per cent to at least two per cent by 2025.

Sharma elaborated the need for infrastructure and connectivity as crucial links for realising India’s inherent tourism potential.

Besides, the Tourism and Culture Minister said that the government is working towards addressing the requirements of tourist infrastructure in areas such as roads, rail, waterways, and civil aviation, among others.

Sharma added that the government has liberalised the policy environment including allowing 100 per cent FDI in hotels, railways and invited the private sector to address gaps.

–IANS

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