Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has said that his Ministry has no immediate plans to throw a lifeline to domestic private airlines. Speaking exclusively to Network18 Patel said that the private airlines were wrong in calling for a strike on August 18 demanding government bailout.
"The fact is that as a scheduled airline you can't suddenly decide that you will not fly. It causes great inconvenience to the travelling public and I think this is absolutely not necessary," said Praful Patel.
Network18: So are you saying the circumstances don't require you to listen to what they are saying right now?
Praful Patel: What I mean is, what has changed suddenly? When these airlines started, these tax structures - the issues that they have raised - these were always there. In fact in terms of airport charges also, we are very categorical, we have no issues. Airport charges can be looked at by the regulatory framework that has been set up. It has been done precisely to take away the authority from the government. So whatever is a fair and transparent mechanism should be put in place.
Network18: Are you going to meet the Finance Minister for any of these demands? Are you in touch with the state governments to push for ATF taxes to come down?
Praful Patel: There are no immediate plans to meet anybody. This is an ongoing process, we have been taking up this cause continuously, we have been pursuing it with the Finance Ministry to ask the states because ultimately, it is a state subject. We hope the states see reason.