Thursday, March 16, 2017

Centre working on 'appropriate policies' for 100 percent FDI in airlines in India: Minister

Union Minister Jayant Sinha today said the government is working on "appropriate policies" related to 100 per cent FDI in airlines, amid local carriers opposing the move.

 The Minister of State for Civil Aviation also said the Ministry has not yet received any formal application from any airline with respect to 100 per cent FDI. His remarks come against the backdrop of Qatar Airways recently announcing its plans to set up an airline in India after the Indian government allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment in the airlines segment last year.

The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) -- comprising Jet Airways, SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir -- have been vociferous about their opposition to foreign entities being allowed to invest in local carriers. "There are various opinion on this matter of 100 per cent FDI. We are considering what the Indian airlines through FIA are saying. Of course, the government's policies are such that we do welcome 100 per cent FDI but we are working through the exact registration process and all of the appropriate policies around that. That is under evaluation," Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha told reporters here.

Noting that the policy to allow 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in domestic airlines is "probably not appropriate", SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh said that such kind of policies must be allowed on a reciprocal basis.  

"If an airline of a particular country wants 100 per cent FDI in our country then they must also be prepared to give 100 per cent FDI in their own countries... If that is not allowed then it is an unfair situation and it is not a level playing field," he said. He also noted that there is a huge shortage of airport infrastructure and foreign airlines entering the Indian market would add to that burden.
16/0/17 PTI/The New Indian Express

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