Monday, October 21, 2019

Tax cuts a must to make Indian airlines globally competitive: SpiceJet CMD

Washington: As India has emerged as the one of the fastest growing civil aviation markets of the world, it is time that the government take steps to make the aviation sector globally competitive beginning with reduction on its tax structure, the head of a low-cost airline has said.

Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, in an interview to PTI rued that the civil aviation sector in India is highly taxed and identified it as one of the major stumbling blocks in making it globally competitive.
"I think lowering of taxes and looking at aviation in a holistic sense as a job creator, as something that connects India to itself and to the world. It's important that we take a more holistic approach to aviation," he said

Singh was in Washington DC last week as part of a business delegation that accompanied Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who was here to attend the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

"What we have been asking for a very long time now is that the government should make Indian aviation competitive with its peers around the world. We should make sure that our costs are in line with our peers around the world," he said.

India, Singh said, is the only country which taxes aviation fuel at an average of about 35 per cent while no other significant aviation country in the world taxes fuel at all.

As such Indian carriers are paying a much higher cost of operation and, therefore, they are not competitive with others. That is one big issue, he said.

"The second big issue is on the maintenance and repair operations. In maintenance and repair operations as well, we pay a GST of 18 per cent," he added.
21/10/19 PTI/Business Standard
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