Patel meets PM, seeks Rs 5,000 cr bail-out package

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New Delhi, June 11 (UNI) Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought sales tax reduction on jet fuel that would bring relief of Rs 5,000 crore to the beleagured airlines reeling under heavy losses.

Mr Patel also proposed giving ''declared goods'' status to aviation turbine fuel (ATF) which would then attract only three per cent sales tax.

He also asked the oil companies to consider a cut in base price of ATF to help the airlines.

''The PM was very much concerned about the financial health of the aviation sector, but said that since the sales tax was a State subject, the issue will be taken up at the meeting of the Empowered Group of State Finance Ministers on June 16,'' Mr Patel told reporters.

The airlines are expected to incur a loss of Rs 8,000 crore in 2008-09 on account of the increase in the price of ATF, Mr Patel said.

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