Cabinet gives in-principle nod to aviation hub policy

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Summaryinter-ministerial committee to iron out differences over a policy to set up aviation hubs in the country after petroleum minister Veerappa Moily strongly opposed civil aviation minister Ajit Singh’s proposal to ease tariff regime on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) as part of the policy at a meeting of the Union Cabinet.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday set up an inter-ministerial committee to iron out differences over a policy to set up aviation hubs in the country after petroleum minister Veerappa Moily strongly opposed civil aviation minister Ajit Singh’s proposal to ease tariff regime on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) as part of the policy at a meeting of the Union Cabinet.

Though the Cabinet gave in-principle approval to the policy to set up aviation hubs across the country, it decided to refer the issue to an inter ministerial committee to iron out differences.

The aim of the policy is to improve civil aviation infrastructure outside the four metro cities.

The policy moots a major shift in approach to attract air passengers as well as cargo by proposing significant changes including an easier visa regime that will accord visa on arrival to passengers from as many countries as possible.

It also proposes to have currency exchange counters beyond immigration at airports. The policy also proposes to do away with service tax imposed on passengers.

Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari, who briefed the media, said the committee will work out modalities for the policy and fine-tune the details.

In other developemts, the Cabinet also approved the setting up of the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) to harmonise skill development efforts of government and private sector, as reported earlier by The Indian Express.

The NSDA will subsume the Prime Minister’s National Council on Skill Development, the National Skill Development Coordination Board and the Office of the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Skill Development. It will be housed in the ministry of finance.

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