APAO wants govt to bring aviation turbine fuel under GST Act

New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) Private airport operators in thecountry today said the government should bring aviationturbine fuel under the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Act andincrease the duty-free allowances for incoming internationalpassengers in this budget.

The Association of Private Airport Operators (APAO) --comprising the airport operators of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore,Hyderabad and Kochi -- put forth their list of suggestions tothe Finance Ministry for the Union Budget.

APAO wants aviation fuel to be brought under the GST,which is intended to bring taxation of goods and servicesacross various states under a unified tax structure.

"Currently, the difference in tax structure andespecially the tax rates, results in heavy cost for the taxpayers. In case of ATF, the tax rates substantially vary fromstate to state and Indian aviation industry, being very price-sensitive, is adversely affected due to vast difference inATF taxation," the APAO members said in their proposal.

Bringing it under GST Act would ensure that taxation onATF across the nation would be uniform, they said.

Also, they want ATF to be classified as ''declaredgoods'' under the Central Sales Tax Act, which they say wouldhelp emergence of Indian airports as hubs and stabilise ATFprices across the country.

The airport operators want the government to enhancethe duty-free allowance for incoming international passengersfrom Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 and also encourage them to buyfrom Indian duty-free shops.

"With steep depreciation of rupees, there is a need toincrease the allowance to Rs 50,000 from Rs 25,000. Also,duty-free import of liquor may be allowed upto three litresfor liquor and additional two litres for wine," the suggestionsent by APAO to Finance Ministry said.

The five private airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad,Kochi and Bangalore together handle around 65 per cent of thecountry''s air passenger traffic.

Apart from it, they have suggested specific income taxexemption on security component of Passenger Service Fee(PSF), which consists of PSF Facilitation (PSF-FC)and PSFSecurity (PSF-SC).

They said PSF-SC was not the regular income of theairport operators but collected on behalf of Government ofIndia and used only for meeting security related expenditurelike reimbursing salaries, benefits and other expenses ofsecurity agency deputed at the airports and buying securityequipments.

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