ATF prices to be revised every 15 days, credit period raised

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New Delhi, Oct 22 (UNI) Bowing to the demand of the aviation industry facing financial crisis, the Government today decided to revise jet fuel prices every 15 days to bring it on a par with world market prices, and increase the credit period to 90 days for the airlines to clear their ATF dues to oil companies.

The changes in ATF prices will reflect the fluctuations in the international crude oil prices.

The decisions were taken at a meeting between Petroleum Minister Murli Deora and Aviation Minister Praful Patel, reportedly called at the instance of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

According to an Aviation Ministry release, it was decided that oil marketing companies will increase the credit period from 60 days to 90 days, up to March 31, 2009, for airlines to clear their dues on account of jet fuel. The situation will be reviewed thereafter.

The airlines industry can pay their present cumulative outstanding credit in six monthly installments by 31 March, 2009.

In view of the support extended to the airline industry by the Government and the oil PSUs, the airlines were also asked not to retrench any staff.

The National Aviation Company of India (NACIL) chief assured that the company had no plans of retrenchment.

At a recent meeting, the oil marketing firms had increased the credit period from 30 days to 60 days and the airlines promised that they would pay their dues within that period. But the deal did not work as the airlines failed to keep their promise.

Jet and Kingfisher together owed more than Rs 2,000 crore and NACIL over Rs 600 crore to the oil companies as on October 10.

IndianOil, HP and BP are projected to lose Rs 1,47,592 crore on the sale of petrol, diesel and kerosene.

UNI YJ SB HS1852

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