Islamabad: Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal on Thursday came out in support of a proposal to allow foreign airlines to pick up stakes in Indian carriers.

Goyal, however, said his company does not require any foreign direct investment (FDI).

"We do not need any FDI. We are doing fine. But we welcome the move," said Goyal who is visiting Pakistan as a part the Indian business delegation led by Commerce, Industry and Textiles Minister Anand Sharma.

At present, FDI up to 49 percent is permitted in the airline sector in India, but foreign carriers are not allowed to buy stake due to security reasons.

Both the Civil Aviation Ministry and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) are in favour of opening the sector to international airlines.

The Civil Aviation Ministry had suggested 24 percent as the limit for FDI by foreign airlines, while the DIPP had recommended 26 percent cap. A Committee of Secretaries has proposed 49 percent cap.

The Civil Aviation Ministry would be seeking the Cabinet's approval to allow foreign airlines to buy equity in Indian air carriers.

To a query on direct import if Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) by airlines, Goyal said it was a welcome move, but added there were several issues which need to be resolved.

"We need to have the infrastructure for this. We also need to look into the issue of state-entry taxes," he said.

The government has allowed Indian carriers to directly import jet fuel, but a notification in this regard is awaited.

The sourcing of ATF through direct imports would lower the overall procurement cost for airlines as sales tax varies from 4-30 percent in different states.

(Agencies)