Monday, February 29, 2016

Budget 2016: Mixed reaction from aviation

New Delhi: he Union Budget, presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on Monday, drew mixed reactions over the "minimal focus on aviation" even though the the plan to revive 160 underserved airports was welcomed as a major boost for regional connectivity.
"It was hoped that the draft aviation policy released way back in October 2015 will be finalized by December 2015, well in time for the tax benefits to be captured in the budget. Delay in finalizing the same has hurt the aviation sector.
"Far reaching reforms proposed for regional connectivity, MRO, 'infrastructure' status for aviation sub-sectors, etc find zero or passing mention," Amber Dubey, partner and head, aerospace and defence at global consultancy KPMG, said.
Aviation sector continues to suffer from an 'elitism' tag and struggles for attention and a sense of urgency from policy makers, he added.
"Reforms in MRO procedures, duty-free period and free stay period are welcome but the bigger relief in terms of zero-rating of service tax and 'infrastructure' status for MRO have been left out," he said.
Ankur Bhatia, executive director, Bird Group and member, CII National Committee on Civil Aviation, said the proposal of reviving underserved airports by allocating a budget of Rs 50-100 crore each, developing 10 out of 25 non-functional airstrips in partnerships with state governments will definitely accelerate development of regional aviation sector and also boost the aviation sector.
29/02/16 PTI/Times of India
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