NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Friday held a meeting with the representatives of Covid-19 hit aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors to discuss banking and credit-related issues.
The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Finance Ministry along with the heads of various public sector banks and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). The sector representatives requested the government to bring aviation turbine fuel (ATF), currently at a record high, under the purview of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The representatives also mentioned their long term demand to give infrastructure status to the aviation and hospitality sectors as it will help them avail cheaper finance.
The finance minister said she would look at bringing ATF under the gambit of GST and assured the industry representatives of taking concrete steps to bring the sectors back on the growth track. Owing to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, international oil prices have breached the USD100 per barrel mark, which is the highest since 2014. This is a very unwelcoming development for airline operators, who already are experiencing low traffic due to covid-19, as ATF accounts for 35-40% of their total expenses.
In Budget 2022-23, the FM had proposed to open an additional `50,000 crore window under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) to support the hospitality and related services sector.