The minister has also written to the state governments to cut down excise duty on the ATF to help the airlines recover from losses.
New Delhi: Union minister of state for civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday told his ministry and the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to set up a mechanism to monitor the airfares on a regular basis.
The minister, however, clarified that at present the government has no intention to interfere or regulate the pricing mechanism but it would also not shy away from holding discussions with the airlines in the larger interest of the passengers when need arises.
“I have ordered to set up a mechanism in DGCA and in the civil aviation ministry to monitor airlines pricing on a regular basis. We will monitor how airline pricing is working and if need be we can have discussions with the CEOs of airlines on that,” Mr Puri said.
The government had to recently step in when airfares to and from Srinagar shot up big time after government asked tourists and pilgrims to leave the Valley as soon as possible.
The minister has also written to the state governments to cut down excise duty on the aviation turbine fuel (ATF) to help the airlines recover from losses.
“ATF is an issue and we are working on it. There are higher taxes on ATF. I am in touch with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on how excise duty can be reduced. I have also written to chief ministers of states to bring down the excise duty,” the minister said. In this context, he lauded the efforts of the Kerala government to cut down the excise duty on ATF.
Meanwhile, the minister said that the aviation sector is also going to gain from the finance minister’s decision to cut down corporate tax rate. “We are announcing some stimulus measures in various sectors. Today’s corporate tax rebate will give business and drive growth in the country. Those who were looking out for business will now rethink and Foreign Direct Investment will also come in,” said Mr Puri.
He added that at a time when there is demand for more airports and buoyancy in the market, the civil aviation sector will pick up gains immediately from today’s announcement.
“We are looking at having 2,000 planes in the next couple of years… Today’s announcement is a fundamental paradynamic shift,” Mr Puri said.