Comments deadline extended for more inclusive policy: Minister

New Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) The central government on Friday explained that it had to extend the deadline for stakeholders to submit their views on the draft civil aviation policy to widen the basket of comments and suggestions to create more inclusive norms for the sector.

The reasons for extending the last day for receiving stakeholders’ comments from November 21 to 30 was made public by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

Raju spoke while inaugurating the ‘Air Cargo Summit-2015’ which was organised under the aegis of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

The minister urged all the stakeholder to submit their suggestions to the government to enable the formation of a comprehensive policy with a life span of three to five years.

On November 18, the civil aviation ministry had extended the deadline for receiving the stakeholders comments from November 21th-30th.

The draft civil aviation policy was released on October 30 and has been put in public domain to garner feedback and suggestions from all stakeholders before finalisation.

The policy is expected to be presented to the union cabinet for final approval after formal suggestions and feedback have been received.

The development assumes significance as the draft policy that has proposed certain changes like imposing a new cess and regulate minimum fare tariffs, has encountered stiff resistance from some quarters of the industry.

In addition, the minister mentioned that the summit organised by the PHD Chamber was “very timely and its inputs” will be considered for drafting the final civil aviation policy.

“Since the air cargo summit 2015 of the PHD Chamber has been so timely, it would encourage the government to attend to all concerns and issues arising out of cargo segment to suitably accommodate them in the new policy document,” the minister cited.

The minister pointed out that the new policy will instill competence to increases efficiency to make the section come at par with global standards.

The minister elaborated that taxation on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) is not entirely in the domain of the centre government.

However, he offered his best efforts to accommodate the industry’s suggestions on ATF taxation.

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