Air travel has a multiplying effect on the economy and, therefore, decisions should be made to allow the sector to grow to its full potential, he said during a pre-budget consultation meeting with industry representatives.

The different wings of the government will come together to find the solution to the problems faced by the industry, Raju said, according to an official release.
He said the deliberations and suggestions put across by the industry would help the government identify the challenges posed to growth of the civil aviation sector.
At the same time, the industry's suggestions would also help the government in finding ways to address those challenges, the Minister said.
Issues such as updating of standards for security equipment, establishment of a green channel for maintenance,repair and overhaul (MRO) equipment and allocation of appropriate funds for air navigation facilities, came up for discussion during the meeting, the release said.
The industry, on its part, made several suggestions for the promotion of MRO sector, including removal of service tax, reducing VAT on MRO activities, 10-year tax holiday and abolition of central excise duty on MRO component, among others.
Industry representatives were of the view of these suggestions, if implemented, would create one lakh jobs with more than a billion dollar revenues to the country on account of MRO activities, the release said.

The stakeholders also demanded that jet fuel be treated as a "declared goods" so that VAT on ATF could be reduced to four per cent and which, in turn, will make airlines more viable,they said.
They also wanted that the airlines should be given the infrastructure status to enable access to funds with lower rate of interest through external commercial borrowings.
They made suggestions with regard to dedicated air cargo stations and general aviation as a necessary force-multiplier. The meeting was attended by the representatives of FICCI, the American Chamber of Commerce in India, US-India Aviation Cooperation Program, FAA and other organisations, besides Civil Aviation Secretary V Somasundaran.

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