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‘States should reduce ATR taxes’
Kolkata, Dec 7 (IANS) Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh Friday said his ministry has written to states to reduce taxes on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) to give a boost to the country’s airline sector.
"We have written to them (chief ministers) several times on reduction of ATR taxes. We have discussed (the issue) with them several times," Singh told media persons on the sidelines of the PanIITGlobal Conference, 2012.
"But I think they (the chief ministers) are worried currently over fiscal problems. Chhattisgarh did it earlier, (chief minister Prithviraj) Chavan of Maharashtra has also publicly said they would do it," he said.
The civil aviation ministry has been urging the states to cut down taxes on ATR to help the ailing airline industry as most of the carriers are facing a financial crunch due to increase in fuel cost.
The minister informed that Chhattisgarh, which brought down taxes to four percent, was enjoying "tremendous increase of air traffic".
He also informed that in West Bengal the tax rate was 29 percent.
To a query, he said the new terminal of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport was "likely to be inaugurated" Jan 23, the birthday of the legendary freedom fighter.
A large number of delegates, including policy makers, consultants and planners from both the public and the private sectors are participating in the three-day PANIIT – the annual meeting of the global association of Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) alumni – that began Friday.
The conference is being held in Kolkata for the first time.