Agra: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday agreed in principle to reduce VAT on aviation fuel for planes landing at the Taj city's airport.

This is seen as a concrete initiative to promote air traffic by making it attractive for airlines to connect Agra. "The reduction from 21 percent to 4 percent will make a substantial gain for the airlines," said the Agra Tourist Welfare Chamber president Prahalad Agarwal.

A delegation of the local tourist industry presented the chief minister, who is here for the CII Partnership Summit, with a memorandum, reiterating the long-standing request for the reduction of VAT on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) for commercial flights from 21 percent to 4 percent.

The chief minister gave a positive response to the request and assured the delegation that this demand of Agra tourism industry will be addressed very soon. The assurance comes at a time when the Air India flight to Agra, which started in the last week of December, is already doing extremely well in terms of passenger traffic sending positive signals to the aviation industry.

A further drop in the operational costs through a reduction in VAT on ATF will definitely attract more commercial flights to Agra and connect the town to the leading business centres and metropolitan cities - which will be a stepping stone in the direction of setting up a full-fledged international airport, according to Vishal Sharma, member of the delegation.


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