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The minister of state for commerce & industry Jyotiraditya Scindia is hopeful that the government will open up the civil aviation sector for foreign investors in a few months.
No announcement for allowing foreign carriers to invest up to 49% in the domestic carriers was made in the Budget.
But, the minister of state for commerce & industry Jyotiraditya Scindia is hopeful that the government will open up the civil aviation sector for foreign investors in a few months.
“The Civil aviation Ministry, Finance Ministry and the Commerce Ministry are in consultation on raising FDI limit for aviation sector. Hopefully, it will be done in the next couple of months,” he told CNBC-TV18.
Currently, the government allows FDI up to 49% in Indian carriers by non-airline players but does not permit foreign airlines from directly investing.
Below is the edited transcript of the interview. For the complete interview watch the accompanying video.
Q: Was there any breakthrough on the Goods and Services Tax, the government blames the opposition, says the BJP is not willing to play ball. The government has spoken about the GST and operationalizing that by August. But it hasn’t set out a timeline unlike last year for GST. What is your view on this?
A: It is really ironical that, that party that articulated reform and movement on VAT and on GST is today opposing it tooth and nail, namely the BJP. It is very sad. It is a travesty because the GST I don’t think is no longer a luxury that we need as reform. It is a necessity to improve the value chain to make sure that inefficiency and black money is weeded out. It is rather sad that the BJP is putting the roadblocks in place to make sure that it is not executed.
Q: Your ministry is going to have to deal with this because signal that you have sent out to foreign investors by retrospectively amending Section 9 to tax Vodafone like transactions tells the world that India doesn't believe in a Supreme Court judgment. That Indian policy can be changed on a whim and fancy?
A: We are very committed to ensuring that foreign investors look at India in terms of a long term play and a safe haven as an investment destination. I am not sure of what the fine print on that is. But, I am very clear and very certain that this is not a grave digging exercise that the Government of India is going to undertake.
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