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Proposed aviation policy to improve Indian aviation infra

Proposed aviation policy to improve Indian aviation infra

There is some progress in the Union government’s move to bring in a policy to set up aviation hubs in the country with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently setting up an inter-ministerial committee. The aim of the committee is to iron out inter-ministerial differences over the proposed policy. The polity’s objective would be to improve civil aviation infrastructure outside the four Indian metro cities.

Setting up of the committee has been necessitated as the Union Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily strongly opposed the Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh’s proposal to ease tariff regime on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) as part of the policy at a meeting of the Union Cabinet. Though the Cabinet gave in-principle approval to the policy to set up aviation hubs across the country, it decided to refer the issue to an inter ministerial committee to iron out differences.

Revealing this the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the committee will work out modalities for the policy and fine-tune the details. The proposed policy moots a major shift in approach to attract air passengers as well as cargo by proposing significant changes including an easier visa regime that will accord visa on arrival to passengers from as many countries as possible.

It also proposes to have currency exchange counters beyond immigration at airports. The policy also proposes to do away with service tax imposed on passengers.

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