State govts should reduce surcharge on aviation fuel: Ravi

Bangalore: Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi today urged state governments to reduce surcharge on aviation fuel, saying airlines are facing problems due to this.

"All state governments should reduce aviation fuel sales tax…It is a burden on airline companies," he told reporters on sidelines of the `Regional Celebration of Civil Aviation Centenary` here.

He suggested states follow Kerala which has reduced aviation fuel surcharge. "It has decided not to impose surcharge up to a certain point, which has benefited airlines," he said.

Ravi rued that states were not reducing surcharge even as no fresh surcharge has been imposed on aviation fuel, which would offset hike in oil prices.

He noted that crude oil bill was hampering economic growth. "The hike in crude prices has affected developing nations like India… This has led to import bills inflate over the top," he said.

On reviving cash-strapped Air India, he said government would decide how much additional funds could be infused into the national carrier.

"The government will try to infuse fresh funds. It has already given more than Rs 2,000 crore… Group of Ministers are going to meet and discuss the issue," he said.

Ravi hoped AI`s position would change in the next six months, as he was getting cooperation from employees.

"I believe that within six months, I can come to a position, probably not a profitable position, but where the airline can stand on its feet," he said.