Nirmala Sitharaman announces easing of restrictions on utilisation of air space

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced reforms for the aviation sector, saying restrictions on the utilisation of Indian air space will be eased so that civilian flying becomes more efficient.

The availability of more air space available would reduce travel time and save fuel, she said.

It will bring a total benefit of Rs 1,000 crore per year for efficient air space management, Nirmala Sitharaman announced during a press conference.

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The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will get Rs 2300 crore downpayment, she added.

She said AAI has awarded three airports out of six bid for operation and maintenance on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis. An additional investment by private players in 12 airports in first and second rounds is expected around Rs 13,000 crore, she added.

Sitharaman said India will now become a global hub for aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO). The tax regime for the MRO ecosystem has been rationalised. Aircraft component repairs and airframe maintenance will increase from Rs 800 crore to Rs 2,000 crore in three years, she added.

Also read| Focus of 4th tranche of economic package is structural reforms: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

The announcements were part of the fourth tranche details of the Rs 20 lakh crore package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to the nation on May 12, vowing to make India atmanirbhar or self-reliant.

The finance minister held her first press conference to share details of the stimulus package on Wednesday. The second and third phase of announcements on Centre’s economic package were made on Thursday and Friday.

Her last press conference will be on Sunday.

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