First, get the basics right

Ajay Singh, CMD, Spicejet, says that from getting ATF under GST to excise duty, there is a need to get all the basics right before the government thinks about making India a hub for global aviation.

Nisha Verma

Speaking at Wings India 2022 recently, Ajay Singh, CMD, SpiceJet, said that getting ATF under the GST ambit is an issue they have been discussing for a long time. “We have been talking about this for more than 15 years. No country in the world does not include ATF in the central taxation ambit like the GST, and it is really counterintuitive a country aspiring to be a global leader would handicap its airlines so strongly,” he said.

COVID assistance
Singh highlighted that for most countries around the world, it is unbelievable that there was little assistance provided to the aviation sector during COVID. “Airlines around the world tell us that it is shocking how Indian airlines are still around, with no assistance high taxation, low yields and shut down of the sector. Hence, it has been very difficult. We had a meeting with the Finance Minister a few weeks back, in which we had put out all the issues in front of her. It is not just about bringing ATF under GST, it is also excise duty, which is around 11 per cent. The excise duty was hiked at the time when oil prices went down. Now that oil prices are at a record low, excise duty is not coming down. Hence, we need to be very cognizant of the fact that aviation sector has suffered huge losses. It is a chronically ill industry,” he said. He claims that the industry has huge potential, we only need to get the basics right.

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