New Delhi: The government has assured the industry that it is working on a new civil aviation policy, with a strong regulatory framework and world-class infrastructure facilities, Assocham said on Monday.
In a meeting with Assocham, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh also said a separate air cargo policy is under consideration as 200 freighter aircraft would be required in the next 20 years to meet the sector's demand, Assocham said in a statement.
Assocham on Monday submitted an action plan to bailout the civil aviation sector from the current financial crisis.
The body urged Singh to push for a separate budgetary allocation and land for developing airports across the country.
The chamber said civil aviation should be granted infrastructure status and aviation turbine fuel should be notified as declared goods (of special importance) with uniform central sales tax of only four percent across the country.
Assocham also called for introducing fiscal incentives and innovative funding solutions to overcome constraints being faced by airport operators.
Indian carriers catered to 5.4 crore domestic and 1.3 crore international passengers in 2010-11, but in spite of enormous growth and increasing trend towards moving to the low cost model, airlines suffered a loss of over Rs 20,000 crore in the past three years, it said.
The chamber said allowing FDI by foreign airlines and allowing more Indian carriers to fly overseas by utilizing full quota of bilateral agreements could be key enabler to fuel further growth.
At the same time, the government must rationalise ATF prices in tune with international benchmarks through policy changes, it added.
Airlines are expected to add 370 aircraft worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore by 2016-17, it said.
Upgrading infrastructure; attracting domestic investments; and easing norms on foreign direct investments, are essential so that the sector can grow annually by eight percent and raise freight traffic from 23.5 lakh tonnes now to 70 lakh tonnes in the next 10 years.