Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has expressed hope that a political consensus on the issue of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indian aviation industry would prevail soon.
Mr. Ajit Singh admitted that the decision on allowing foreign investors to pick up 49 per cent stake in Indian carriers was still in a limbo, but added that they were pursuing talks with all parties on the issue and hoped that a consensus would be hit soon.
Speaking to reporters, the civil aviation minister said, "We are in talks with various political parties over the issue (allowing foreign carriers to pick up stake). We hope that a political consensus prevails soon."
When asked whether ally Trinamool Congress was ready to support the decision, he said the regional party's chief, Mamata Banerjee, had neither said no, nor yes.
He added that his ministry was moving no fresh note on allowing foreign investors to pick up stake in domestic airlines.
On the question of high prices of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), he said his ministry had written to the Oil Ministry, asking it to declare ATF a notified product so that the fuel could become cheaper. Declaring ATF a notified product will lead to cut in taxes, which would make the fuel more affordable for the airlines.
Currently, ATF accounts for more than 40 per cent of airlines' total expense.
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