Minister of state for civil aviation, Jayant Sinha tells CNBC-TV18 that foreign carriers are interested in coming to India and he would welcome any foreign direct investment in the aviation sector.
Talking to Ashpreet Sethi of CNBC-TV18 he said that he is willing to offer land clearances to foreign companies for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) set up.
He said that modalities of 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in civil aviation are being worked out.
On the topic of Qatar Airways setting domestic airline in India, he said that no talks have been initiated with the company.
Below is the transcript of Jayant Sinha's interview to Ashpreet Sethi on CNBC-TV18.
Q: What are your views on Airbus setting up Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO)?
A: Boeing already has an MRO in Nagpur and most of the Boeing planes, in fact, go to Nagpur for their MROs and we need something similar for Airbus in India. That is absolutely required. Many Indian planes are going to foreign locations like Sri Lanka and Singapore and to the Middle East to get their MRO work done. We would like to get it done in India. We have put an enabling environment in place as far as taxes are concerned and certainly we have tremendous talent and resources here in India to be able to do the MRO.
So, I think Airbus should actually move forward on that initiative and ensure that we have MRO for Airbus in India as well.
Q: Coming to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) point here, the report that had come out. I am not going to the profit/loss fact here but they have suggested that the government should look at reducing the equity infusion. What is your view on that?
A: CAG, of course, provides very valuable suggestions and we will absolutely consider what they are saying. Air India is in the midst of a major transformation effort and that transformation is going quite well and as part of that transformation process, we will certainly look at all suggestions that we get.
Q: 100 percent FDI is something that has become a topic, not naming any airline here, but certain domestic airlines have come and raised certain concerns with you, so are we seeing any development in that?
A: There are different points of view on that subject. India has a very liberal FDI regime particular in aviation and we have seen media reports that there are foreign carriers that are interested in coming into India. We already have two, AirAsia and Singapore Airlines. So, we are welcoming of FDI in this sector. Let us see what comes forward as a concrete proposal and of course, there are points of view that have been expressed by our airlines as well.
Q: Let me end by just asking the RCS Financials which were being considered and evaluated right now. By when can we expect that to end and a final result coming?A: That process is now complete. We are just in the final stages of wrapping all that up and getting all the formal approvals done for that and so we are expecting some time next week to make all the announcements.