BAOA terms budget disappointing for aviation sector, The Economic Times, 1/3/15

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New Delhi: A body of business jet operators today termed as "disappointing" the general Budget and said India cannot become the third largest aviation market by 2020, which it is aiming for, unless issues plaguing the aviation sector were addressed in an appropriate manner.

General aviation industry is particularly disappointed with the proposed budget, President of Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA) Rohit Kapur said in a statement.

"Prediction of India becoming the third largest Aviation industry by 2020 will only remain a dream if Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not address the woes of our sector, which cumulatively holds almost three times the fleet of all commercial airliners," Kapur said, adding that regional and remote connectivity cannot take off in India unless larger issues were addressed.

The sector has largely been ignored by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his first full budget, presented in the Parliament yesterday, with most of the industry's demand remain unmet.

BAOA, in its pre-budget expectations had sought a complete re-look in the tax regime on import of general and business aviation aircraft on the ground that existing policy includes a countervailing duty which is illogical as there civil aircraft is manufactured in India.

A uniform and lower duty on both non-scheduled operator permit and private category was needed to encourage import of more aircraft for enhancing regional connectivity, the Association had listed among other demands.

Operations remain unviable thanks to severe taxation, aviation infrastructure is pathetic, BAOA said adding that jet fuel costs were highest in the world and 90 per cent of Indian aircraft were being maintained overseas due to high duties and costs.

Sunday, 1 March, 2015
The Economic Times