No Service Tax; International flight tickets likely to be cheaper

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New Delhi, July 15: Global airlines body IATA today made an appeal to the government, among others, to exempt international air ticket from service tax, for ease of doing business here, even as the Civil Aviation Ministry said there were different laws and regulations in different countries.

"The application of Service Tax should be aligned with a principle that it does not apply to services rendered outside of India including those for overflight charges, global distribution systems, extra baggage fees and international tickets," IATA Director General and CEO, Tony Tyler said.

Plane

He was delivering a keynote address at the Aviation Day conference organised by International Air Transport Association (IATA), business umbrella body Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the Ministry of Civil Aviation here.

The conference was attended by a host of senior airlines executives, officials from the Civil Aviation Ministry and Directorate General of Civil Aviation, as well as aviation industry experts.

In his speech, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said there were different laws and regulations in different countries and India would have to develop its own, keeping in mind the prevailing circumstances.

Observing that there was a need to follow international treaties that protect airlines from double-taxation on income, Tyler suggested that the incoming GST regime should also "zero-rate international air transport services in line with OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) guidelines."

Pointing out that already aviation and aviation-related tourism support seven million Indian jobs and USD 23 billion of India's GDP, that is just 100 million people travelling by air this year to and from within India, Tyler said the healthy growth of the sector has the potential to expand these benefits tremendously.

"We see the potential for that to increase to nearly 280 million by 2029, by which time India would hold the rank of the world's third largest market, and by the end of our forecast period in 2034, we see a further rise to 360 million passengers. That amazing growth will bring even more benefits to India's development," Tyler said.

"But there are immense challenges which must be overcome as seen in the sector's financial performance. While demand growth is robust and some airlines are generating profit, sector-wide losses for India are still expected to exceed USD 1 billion this year," he said.

Projecting that India can emerge as the third largest aviation market by 2029, Global airlines body IATA today urged the government to exempt international air ticket from service tax, slash airport charges and avoid "onerous" regulations.

"India imposes rules and requirements that are not seen anywhere else," IATA Director General and CEO, Tony Tyler said here.

"The application of Service Tax should be aligned with a principle that it does not apply to services rendered outside of India including those for overflight charges, global distribution systems, extra baggage fees and international tickets," he added.

He was delivering a keynote address at the Aviation Day conference organised by International Air Transport Association (IATA), business umbrella body Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

India needs smarter regulation, he said, adding, this essentially means taking a business-like approach to regulation using common sense and proven principles.

"Onerous regulation and processes, debilitating taxes and expensive infrastructure are holding back the industry's ability to deliver greater economic benefits to India," Tyler said.

In his speech, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said there were different laws and regulations in different countries and India would have to develop its own, keeping in mind the prevailing circumstances.

Observing that there was a need to follow international treaties that protect airlines from double-taxation on income, Tyler suggested that the incoming GST regime should also "zero-rate international air transport services in line with OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) guidelines."

Pointing out that already aviation and aviation-related tourism support seven million Indian jobs and USD 23 billion of India's GDP, that is just 100 million people travelling by air this year to and from within India, Tyler said the healthy growth of the sector has the potential to expand these benefits tremendously.

"We see the potential for that to increase to nearly 280 million by 2029, by which time India would hold the rank of the world's third largest market, and by the end of our forecast period in 2034, we see a further rise to 360 million passengers. That amazing growth will bring even more benefits to India's development," Tyler said.

"But there are immense challenges which must be overcome as seen in the sector's financial performance. While demand growth is robust and some airlines are generating profit, sector-wide losses for India are still expected to exceed USD 1 billion this year," he said.

India needs smarter regulation, he said, adding, this essentially means taking a business-like approach to regulation using common sense and proven principles.

"Regulation is also holding back the development of the sector. Well-intentioned regulations, but which are inconsistent with global standards, make doing business in India very difficult for the airlines," Tyler added.

PTI

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