New Delhi, Nov 22 (UNI) Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel today gave a categorical assurance that airfares would come down by new year.
''Airfares will definitely come down.... Wait till new year, just one month to go,'' Mr Patel told reporters after addressing the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.
Earlier, sharing the dais with Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines heads Naresh Goyal and Vijay Mallya, Mr Patel urged them to lower fares for the benefit of passengers.
''The Government understands your difficulties in terms of high sales tax on fuel, and is trying its best to help you tie over the difficult times.
''But the lowering of jet fuel prices should be reflective in better fares and lower fares for passengers,'' he said.
Mr Goyal, however, rejected the suggestion saying that it was not possible to lower fares when his airlines were not making profit.
''I would not like to close my company. Vijay (Mallya) can live on liquor,'' he said, jokingly referring to the liquor baron.
''The Government can appoint a regulator. We are open to transparency. You can check if we are wasting money. We will do what you want us to do provided we are making profit,'' the Jet Chairman said.
Mr Patel turned down Mr Goyal's suggestion of having a regulator to check if his airline was wasting money, saying deregulation would remain the hallmark of Government decision-making whether Mr Mallya or Mr Goyal liked it or not.
''You are the byproduct of deregulation, you cannot have a regulator. This is not going to happen,'' he said.
Mr Patel called upon the two airlines...Eds: here pick up suitably from line one, para one of DC 8 MEDIA-HT-SUMMIT-PATEL TWO LAST NEW DELHI.
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