NEW DELHI, Dec 27:
A Parliamentary Standing Committee has strongly felt the need for an upper
cap of airfare in each sector to discourage the airlines from predatory pricing of air tickets.
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, chaired by Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’ Brien, in its 263rd report on Thursday, felt that the Ministry of Civil Aviation has not made serious efforts in containing the surge in airfares and the resultant profiteering by different airlines.
The Panel observed that concerted efforts should be consistently made by the Ministry to prevail upon different Airlines not only to make available more and more low-fare bucket seats but also to keep the airfares at reasonably affordable level.
The Panel reiterated that concerted efforts should be made to ensure that the Airlines consistently increase the low-fare bucket seats to facilitate the common man to opt for air travel. With every long weekend and vacation in sight, air fares are increased manifold. Even during natural calamities, people are not spared to pay extremely higher fares.
The Panel also observed that till the time Aviation Turbine Fuel is not included under Goods and Services Tax, a system may be developed to automatically pass the benefits to the consumers whenever ATF prices are decreased.
Referring to the issue of shortage of trained pilots, the Committee observed that the Civil Aviation Ministry should be provactive in tackling it and take urgent steps to have sufficient number of trained indigenous pilots and reduce dependence on foreign pilots.
The Committee felt that for any industry to survive, the critical subsystems which support it should also grow and flourish along with the main industry; if not, the growth of 20 per cent in aviation may be short-lived. The Committee recommended that the Government should give all the encouragement for the Flight Training Organisations (FTOs) to grow. (UNI)