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Airports may be asked to cut landing, parking charges: Patel news
25 June 2008

New Delhi: Looking for ways to ease the mounting troubles of the domestic aviation industry, minister for civil aviation, Praful Patel, has said that his ministry may ask airports to reduce landing and parking charges for aircraft.

Speaking at a function, Patel said by reducing landing and parking charges for aircraft, airports could contribute a ''form of relief'' for the loss-making aviation industry. He, however, clarified that his ministry was yet to initiate any talks with airport authorities, but this was a matter that was ''going to be looked into soon''.

He also ruled out any government bailout package for the aviation industry. ''Unlike other countries, in India it is very difficult for the government to write a cheque to the companies,'' he said.

Patel reiterated the government stand on the vexing problem of high State taxes on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) by saying that the  price of ATF needed to be brought down by about 50 to 60 per cent, keeping in mind the shaky financial health of domestic airlines.

''States cannot treat revenues from sales tax on aviation fuel as cash cows because it could be a very short-term vision. If the air connectivity within States is affected due to high sales tax, it will jeopardise the economy,'' the minister said.

Domestic airlines are likely to lose close to Rs8000 crore in the current fiscal

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Airports may be asked to cut landing, parking charges: Patel