Millennium Post

Puri asks states to reduce VAT on aviation turbine fuel

New Delhi: Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri stressed on the need for reducing VAT on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) with immediate effect during a high-level meeting with ministers and chief secretaries of some states, including West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, on Monday. The civil aviation ministry secretary told the meeting that the ministry has been requesting GST Council to consider bringing ATF under the ambit of GST, according to an official statement.

Support of the states was also sought in the matter so that domestic airlines can sustain their commercial operations.

Ministers and chief secretaries of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha also attended the meeting via video conference.

The other important issues that were discussed include possibilities of further expansion of Kolkata and Durgapur airports, strategy for flight operation from Cooch Behar RCS Airport, development and expansion of Bagdogra airport. The meeting also discussed a request from the West Bengal government for starting seaplane operations from Digha. A detailed status update of the new airports in Uttar Pradesh was also discussed, the statement said. The meeting ended with assurance being expressed by states for considering the reduction of VAT on ATF and active support for UDAN routes for the growth of aviation sector.

Meanwhile, Puri on Monday handed over the first ever licence to air traffic controller of Airports Authority of India at a ceremony held in Ministry of Civil Aviation, at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, New Delhi. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary Ministry of Civil Aviation; Arun Kumar, Director General of Civil Aviation, Anuj Aggarwal. Member (HR), AAI Vineet Gulati, Member (ANS), AAI and other senior officers of Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA and AAI were also present on this memorable event.

This was a defining moment in the history of Civil Aviation in India as this is the first time that the air traffic controllers are being granted licences by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) under Aircraft Rules, 1937.

A total of around 2400 air traffic controllers submitted their applications for issuance of licences to DGCA and as on date around 2264 licences are issued.

Once the licences are issued to the air traffic controllers, DGCA will perform the oversight on the functioning of air traffic controllers.

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