Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Govt waives charges on cargo flights to boost agro exports from North East

Mumbai: The civil aviation ministry has announced waiver of landing, parking and route navigation charges for freighters at select Airport Authority of India-operated airports to promote transport of agricultural products from North East states and hilly and tribal regions.

The sops are a part of the revised version of the Krishi Udan scheme which prioritises seven cargo routes and aims to create a hub and spoke model for transport of agro-produce within and outside India. The revised policy was announced today.

The move will benefit SpiceJet which operates Bombardier Q-400 and Boeing 737 freighters. Concessions in landing, parking or navigation charges will not be available for cargo carried in the belly of a passenger flight. The government has also modified the provision which required an airline to carry a minimum 50 per cent agro-produce in a flight to claim the concession.

Krishi Udan 2.0 will be a vehicle for value creation for farmers, help reduce wastage and improve margins, civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said while highlighting the success of flower exports in Kenya.

The Krishi Udan scheme was first announced in the union budget of 2020. Last December the scheme was aligned with the Operations Green Scheme of the ministry of food processing industry and a 50 per cent subsidy was proposed on domestic air freight and terminal storage and processing charges at airports. The subsidy was provided for 41 fruits and vegetables. An official said shippers would be able to get subsidy benefits under food processing ministry schemes which too are being modified to include more products.

27/10/21 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

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