Joint efforts needed to boost aviation: Venugopal
New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) New Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal Monday called for coordinated efforts by all stakeholders to boost growth in the sector.
According to a ministry official, Venugopal said: "Coordinated efforts by all stakeholders are needed to boost growth of the sector."
Venugopal was speaking after assuming ministerial charge at the Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan here. He will be working with Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh.
Prior to Sunday's reshuffle, Venugopal was minister of state in the power ministry.
His new assignment comes at a time when the sector is hit by a slowdown, as well as a fall of 8.03 percent in domestic air passenger traffic for the fifth straight month in September. Air passengers traffic slipped to 40.18 lakh from 43.69 lakh in August.
The trend started in May, during which the traffic came down 0.87 percent to 54.48 lakh from 54.96 lakh in the corresponding month of 2011. June recorded a substantial fall of 3.84 percent at 51.08 lakh from 53.12 lakh in the like month of 2011.
The ministry is also trying to urge the petroleum ministry to put aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, on the notified product list so that its high prices can be brought down.
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 increases the prices.
Once listed as a notified product or a declared good, airlines will only have to pay a uniform sales tax of four percent. The oil ministry's regulator will then be in a position to keep a check on prices.
All major airlines recently raised domestic fares, citing high ATF prices.
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