The government is ready to exempt tax on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) for airlines willing to operate within the three airports of the State, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said.

He was responding to a request by Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal to reduce the tax on fuel for airlines operating to the State. He was speaking after rededicating the upgraded radar facility of Thiruvananthapuram international airport on Tuesday.

Two airlines had already responded to the offer, he said. “We are ready to look into the request by the Civil Aviation Ministry. But, it should be linked to air fares,” he said.

The government had received many complaints on the high air fare during Onam season, Mr. Chandy said, adding that such moves during festival season were unjustifiable. He hoped that the Civil Aviation Ministry would step in and address the issue. Earlier, Mr. Venugopal urged the Chief Minister to reduce the VAT on ATF to 4 per cent as done by nine States. The Union Minister said the VAT on ATF was on the higher side and reducing it would attract more airlines.

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