The government on Friday said it still has to work out the modalities of any policy to allow 100 per cent FDI in domestic airlines. “We have not initiated any talks with anyone. What the government said is it will invite 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in aviation. The modalities of how we are going to do it is still to be worked out,” Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju said on the sidelines of a function in connection with the inauguration of the Airbus India Training Centre (AITC) here.
“This is a suggestion that emerged; decisions came from the Commerce Ministry. Unless we make up our minds on how we are going to make anything operational, we will not be commenting on it,” he added.
On Wednesday, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had, in a written reply, told Parliament that the Centre has not received any application from foreign airlines to start domestic passenger carriers through the 100 per cent FDI route. The Minister’s reply came after a query on Qatar Airways plan to start a fully-owned domestic passenger carrier in partnership with an institutional investor.
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Earlier, Qatar Airways said it plans to set up an airline in India along with Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.
Under the current rules, a foreign airline can invest only up to 49 per cent in domestic airline. However, in partnership with an institutional investor, the foreign airline can invest and set up a 100 per cent-owned domestic passenger carrier.
Sinha said the government was considering stakeholders’ views before framing any policy that allows for 100 per cent FDI in domestic airlines.