New Delhi, 30 October 2015. “This is a welcome step which was long overdue…It is a clear signal for taking air-travel to the masses and promoting regional connectivity” – A. Didar Singh, secretary general, The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Commenting on the Draft National Civil Aviation Policy 2015, FICCI Secretary General Dr A Didar Singh said, “This is a welcome step which was long overdue. The Draft Policy has laid down the long-term roadmap for developing India as the third largest aviation market. It is a clear signal for taking air-travel to the masses and promoting regional connectivity. FICCI compliments the Government for proposing a policy-framework towards ensuring a safe and sustainable development of the aviation industry.”

It is encouraging that Government is planning to coordinate with all the stakeholders to provide greater regulatory certainty under the PPP mode. Also commendable is the proposal for exempting MRO, cargo, ground handling players from all charges, other than a reasonable lease rental at all the future airport projects in the country. These are critical to the growth of the Indian aviation sector.

“The draft policy has also focused on promoting the Make in India program and developing indigenous aero-related manufacturing with the help of global OEMs. We welcome the proposal of exempting Service Tax on output services of MRO and granting infrastructure status to MRO, ground handling, cargo and ATF infrastructure co-located at airports to avail the fiscal benefits under Section 80-IA of the Income Tax Act ”, added Dr Singh.

FICCI is also happy with the Government’s proposals for introducing the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) and developing heli-hubs across the country. It will contribute to the growth of remote areas and in turn have positive implications for overall growth of the economy.