Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia spoke to the ministers of civil aviation from states and Union Territories pushing for a reduction in the value-added tax (VAT) on jet fuel to help increase air traffic.

“With the current tax structure on ATF (Aviation Turbine Fuel)…you can’t have a robust civil aviation sector. I’m very clear on that,” the union minister said while inaugurating a curtain raiser event about Wings India, 2022 which is Asia’s largest event on Civil Aviation.

Earlier, Scindia said that seven states and Union Territories have slashed their VAT on ATF and he expected other states to follow the suit.

Scindia also said that currently there is a need for 9,500 pilots and over 40% of pilots go abroad for training. “There is forex outgo. The training cost of a pilot is around 1.5-2 crore. We’ve to move flying/pilot training here,” he said.

While the civil aviation industry was significantly hit during the pandemic, Speaking on the occasion, Scindia said that the Indian Civil Aviation industry has witnessed robust growth over the years and contributes significantly to the economic development of the country. It is bringing people from across the world to discover the huge business and tourism opportunities in India.

The Indian aviation industry has overcome many challenges to become one of the world’s most lucrative aviation markets. “India today handles the third-largest domestic traffic after the USA and China. We all know that in this densely globalised economy, air transport is a key element in the country’s transport infrastructure and plays an important role in the Country’s economic growth,” Scindia said.

(With inputs from ANI)

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