Consensus building is not possible, says Civil Aviation Minister

The new deadline (30th November) set up by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to receive feedback and suggestions from the industry stakeholders on the revised draft civil aviation policy will be final and there would be no further consultation after the stated deadline. After unveiling the revised draft civil aviation policy around October end, the ministry had given a deadline of three weeks (till 21st November) to the stakeholders to submit their final suggestion and now it has been further extended by ten days.

Ashok Gajapathi Raju PusapatiSpeaking to the media on the sidelines of a seminar in Delhi on Friday, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that the ministry is aiming to put the new policy in place before December end. “ This policy has been in making for quite sometime. We have put it in public domain twice for stakeholders’ feedback. Now we want to implement it and we are targeting to do so before the beginning of the new year,” the minister said.
The draft revised policy has laid major emphasis in giving a big-ticket push to the regional connectivity segment. However, the paper has elicited mixed response and the lack of clarity on the pertinent issues like 5/20 and reduction in ATF prices have been cited as its serious shortcomings. When pointed out by TourismFirst if the MoCA is still talking to states to reduce the taxes on ATF so that airlines’ operational cost comes down, Gajapathi Raju maintained that the time of consensus building is over. “ We are not even thinking of consensus now. Some states have responded positively, others are yet to come back to us and one state (Delhi) has even gone to the extent of indicating an increase in VAT on ATF even as we are collectively looking for a solution. I think consensus is impossible,” he said. State governments nod for ATF tax rationalising, however, will be vital for the future of MoCA’s grand plan on improving regional connectivity which entails to facilitate Rs. 2500 ticket to passengers on regional routes (less than an hour flight). The fixed price regime will be only available at the airports where VAT on ATF has been reduced.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *