Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of low-cost carrier SpiceJet
Speaking at the second session of the Rising India Summit 2019, Ajay Singh, Chairman of SpiceJet, exhorted the government to introduce tax reforms in the aviation sector, which is already grappling with challenges from various quarters.
"We grew at 20 percent, the fastest in the world. These numbers keep growing up…. Flying used to be only for the rich. Taxes on aviation are crazy. India has highest number of taxes," said Singh.
Singh also stressed on the need for a level-playing field.
"Aviation is a growing economy. It's a shame that we can't give a level playing field to aviation. Low cost airlines will not lose money. We will not lose if there is a level playing field. The demand is strong. We need to get our taxes down and stop shipping planes outsides for maintenance. We should be providing pilots to the world. We can do much more on aviation," Singh added.
The name of the session - Get, Set,Go - included Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Robin Raina, CEO of Ebix Inc and Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg as other members of the panel apart from Singh.
Raina also hoped the government would listen to the tax demands of India Inc.
"We need to build intellectual property. We need to differentiate between export and export meant for intellectual property. What has not happened is an Indian MNC spreading across the globe. It has been the reverse," said CEO of Ebix Inc Robin Raina, adding that his one wish from the government would be to rationalise taxes.
Garg gave an update on the status of compliance by corporate houses.
"More than 99 percent of corporate houses have adhered to in terms of taxes. In the coming time, we will see more compliances for better growth," said Garg.
Garg also expressed his views on the economy front.
"The debt to GDP ratio at the current state means that we are leaving less money for the private sector. In five years, we will reach to a ratio of 40 percent. It is challenging because to maintain ratio you need to take care of the fiscals," he said.
Quizzed on growth, Kant said that if India is to grow at 9 to 10 percent, the country needs to get into sunrise industries.
"You cannot grow at that rate if you do not have growth in equity. India also needs to keep in mind that there many districts which are lacking. This is why we came up with aspirational districts," said Kant.