Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday blamed high taxes imposed by opposition-ruled states on aviation turbine fuel for air ticket prices not coming down and accused them of “hypocrisy” for targeting the central government over the issue.
“Ever wondered why air ticket prices haven’t come down? Aviation Turbine Fuel constitutes about 40% of the cost of airline operations. But West Bengal, Maharashtra & Delhi impose massive 25 per cent plus VAT on ATF while BJP states UP & Nagaland; & UT of J&K charge just 1 per cent,” he tweeted.
However, Trinamool Congress spokesperson Saket Gokhale hit back, claiming that about 21 per cent of airline revenues go to the central government as taxes, and they are left with “no profits”. “And that is why air ticket prices are going up. Stop fooling people,” he said in reply to Puri.
“Modi Govt charges 11 per cent excise duty on ATF despite promises since last year to bring it down to 4 per cent. It was a jumla,” he alleged.
Keeping up his attack on the opposition, Puri said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensured affordable air travel to common citizens with his vision but these states create impediments. They manufacture protests against “oil prices” but fleece people to fill their coffers, he alleged.