Amid an increased demand from airlines for inclusion of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) in the GST tax regime, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey on Tuesday said the matter would be taken up with the finance ministry as jet fuel prices have risen 40 per cent since January, 2017.
“If ATF is brought under the GST regime, we can get input tax credit,” he told reporters here, adding that he would meet Revenue Secretary Hashmukh Adhia in this regard.
Choubey also cited the example of bunker oil, which was taken out of the oil basket and brought under the ambit of GST.
Airlines could expect an annual relief of up to Rs 5,000 crore by way of input tax credit if the ATF is brought under the Goods and Services Tax. The move could cushion them from the burden of increased jet fuel prices, besides providing relief to customers.
During a presentation made by the airlines last week, they are understood to have maintained that the Centre could earn more than what it gets at present from ATF.
Talking about in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity which got the nod from the telecom commission recently, the civil aviation secretary said the Department of Telecom will soon complete drafting the licensing conditions.
He said licenses will be awarded within two months of applying for it.
Apart from domestic carriers, international carriers will have to apply for license to offer in-flight internet even if they are overflying India, Choubey said.
Internet services can be provided from the moment a plane takes off and personal electronic devices (PED) are put on flight mode. Also, mobile services can be allowed only when an aircraft is over an altitude of 3,000 metres.
The government hopes to award licences to airlines or Wi-Fi operators for offering Wi-Fi services in the Indian skies within two months of receiving the application.
The civil aviation secretary added that both domestic and international airlines will have to apply for a licence to offer Wi-Fi services in the Indian skies.
On May 1, the telecom commission had approved a proposal to offer in-flight Wi-Fi services on flights in India.
Meanwhile, sources said revised bids for upgradation of Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports should be out by June 15 as the earlier bids had to be cancelled. The revised bids would be made more attractive, enabling the private sector to make use of the airside and car parking spaces at these two airports apart from the terminal and cargo areas.
The Centre has also proposed that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) pay a fee to the private sector for these two airports and in exchange, the state-owned airport operator get a revenue share, on per passenger basis, i.e. the passengers going through each airport rather than a share of the gross revenue earned by each of the two airports.