Special Correspondent

Tax reduction on High Speed Diesel from 29.32 per cent to 4 per cent urged

HYDERABAD: Even as air travellers continued to face serious difficulties in their attempt to reach the newly opened Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad, members of the Legislative Assembly asked the government to reconsider its decision to reduce tax on Aviation Turbine Fuel from 33 per cent to 4 per cent.

They reasoned that only rich people were travelling by aircraft and that did not give any relief to the common man. Stating that lack of road connectivity was causing hardships to the passengers, they wondered why the tax relief should be given for aviation industry.

They questioned why the same facility was not being given the AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), which was catering to lakhs of passengers in nook and corner of the State. They said the tax on High Speed Diesel should also be brought down from 29.32 per cent to 4 per cent to give relief to the APSRTC.

Speaking during a debate on two government Bills, Akbaruddin Owaisi (MIM) was highly critical of the inability of the Government to provide proper road connectivity to the airport. He challenged the Ministers and other elected representatives to pay a visit to Rethi Bowli junction or Aramghar crossroads to see for themselves the plight of people making a determined bid to reach the airport on time.

Nomula Narasimhaiah (CPI-M), G. Kishan Reddy (BJP) and G. Sayanna (TDP) said it was unfortunate that the government had extended tax relief to the new airport.

Minister justifies

Commercial Taxes Minister Konathala Ramakrishna clarified that the government had extended tax relief on aviation turbine fuel with the idea that Hyderabad would emerge as a hub for aviation industry. He said though the government would incur a loss of Rs.90 crore, it was confident of recouping once more and more aircrafts started landing in Hyderabad.