SME Times News Bureau | 10 Sep, 2012
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh Monday said he has urged the petroleum ministry to put aviation turbine fuel (ATF) on the notified product list so that its high prices can be brought down.
"We have written to them and are seeking approvals for declare it as a notified product," Ajit Singh told reporters, voicing concern over the high price of jet fuel.
The minister was speaking on the sidelines of the General Assembly of International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Association's meeting being held here. Some 200 delegates from over 40 countries are participating in the event.
Currently, ATF sold in the country is nearly 50-60 percent costlier than in overseas markets like Bangkok, Singapore or Dubai as an additional 4-34 percent state sales tax hikes the prices.
Once listed as a notified product or a declared good, airlines will only have to pay an uniform sales tax of four percent. The oil ministry's regulator will then be in a position to keep a check on prices.
Recently, all major airlines raised domestic fares citing high ATF prices.
On the issue of allowing foreign carriers to buy up to 49 percent stake in domestic airlines, Singh said a "political consensus" was needed for the proposal to be approved.
"We are in talks with various political parties over the issue. We hope that a political consensus is arrived at soon," Singh said.
Asked about the opposition to the move even from allies of the government, Singh said he had discussed the issue with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, but she was vague. "She neither said no nor yes."