Air India is rationalizing fleet to reduce operational losses

Newsroom24x7 Staff

New Delhi: Five of the eight B-777 LR aircrafts purchased by Air India have been sold outright by the national carrier, presently overburdened by huge debt, to rationalize the fleet and reduce operational losses.

Out of the 23 B-787 aircrafts purchased earlier by Air India, 21 B-787 Dreamliner aircrafts have sold and acquired under the Sale and Lease Back Arrangement (SLB). The remaining 2 aircrafts have also been procured under Bridge Loans till their SLB financing is finalized.

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The details of aircrafts procured and sold by Air India in the last ten years are as follows:

Sl.No. Type of Aircraft Purchased upto March, 2017 Sold outright Under Sale & Lease Back
a) A-320 04
b) A-321 20
c) A-319 19
d) B-777-LR 08 05
e) B-777-ER 12
f) B-787-8 23 21
  Total 86 05 21

 

As per the Turnaround Plan approved by the Government for Air India, these aircraft were to be procured by AI under SLB arrangement.

Impact of GST on Civil Aviation Sector

Under the GST regime the applicable tax rate on economy class passenger tickets has been reduced from 6% to 5% (non-creditable for goods), while the tax rate on business class has been increased from 9% to 12% with input tax creditable for both goods and services procured by airlines. Petroleum products including ATF are presently outside the purview of GST.

With a view to reducing the overall tax burden on the consumer, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime amalgamates a large number of Central and State taxes into a single tax and allows set-off of prior stage taxes thereby mitigating the ill-effects of cascading taxes on prices across all sectors including civil aviation.

Revenue Earned from Aviation Sector

The non-tax revenue receipts by way of Dividends, Guarantee Fee and Other Receipts booked to the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI) by the Ministry of Civil Aviation have grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 87.8% between 2014-15 to 2016-17. The non-tax revenue receipts were Rs. 180.73 crore in 2014-15, Rs. 858.99 crore in 2015-16, and Rs. 1,203.54 crore in 2016-17. CAGR for the aviation sector in terms of total passenger traffic in India was 15.1% and that of air freight handled at Indian airports was 8.8%, as per data maintained by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Airports Authority of India (AAI), respectively.

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Growth in Domestic Passenger Air Traffic Flow

In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha gave the figures for the number of passengers carried by scheduled domestic airlines during the years 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 (up to June 2017) and growth with respect to corresponding previous period, which are as follows:

Year              Passengers Carried (In Lakhs)             % of Growth

2014                           673.82                                           –

2015                          810.91                                         20.35

2016                          998.88                                         23.18

2017                           561.55                                        18.03

(Up to June 2017)

 

Steps for smooth entry of private players in Defence manufacturing 

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: The NDA Government at the Centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken major policy initiatives to ease the entry of private sector in defence manufacturing.

To allow smooth entry of private players in the defence manufacturing sector, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy in defence sector was reviewed in June 2016, and accordingly, FDI up to 49% is allowed under automatic route and above 49% under Government route wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded. To further the ease of process of approvals, the Government has abolished Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

The work of granting Government approvals for Foreign Investment under the extant FDI Policy has been entrusted to the concerned Administrative Ministries / Departments.
The parts/components, casting and forgings of defence equipment have been excluded from the purview of industrial licensing under Industries (Development & Regulation) [IDR] Act, 1951. Initial validity of industrial licence for defence has been revised to fifteen years, further extendable upto eighteen years for existing as well as future licenses under IDR Act.

Since the opening of Defence Industry Sector for Private Sector Participation in 2001, the Government has issued 342 Industrial Licenses to 205 Indian Companies. The Licenses have been issued with the major conditions such as:

• Adequate safety & security procedure would need to be put in place by the licensee. The Companies shall comply with the security guidelines applicable to them based on the security categorization indicated in the licence.
• The defence items produced by such companies will primarily be sold to the Ministry of Defence. However, they can also be sold to other Government Entities under the control of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Public Sector Undertakings, State Governments and other different Licensee Companies without the approval of Department of Defence Production (DDP).
• The Companies shall furnish Half-Yearly Returns regarding details of items produced and entities to whom sold in the prescribed proforma to the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and Department of Defence Production.
Till date, 66 Licensed Companies covering 109 Licenses have reported commencement of production.

Under the provisions of Security Manual, the Companies that have reported commencement of production are security audited by Intelligence Agencies once in two years.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Ram Kumar Kashyap in Rajya Sabha today.

6 Indian casualties in firing by Pakistan Army

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: There have been 239 ceasefire violations by Pakistan resulting in the death of 3 Army personnel and and equal number of civilians in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir between January and June this year.

There have been 239 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the line of control (LoC) under oeprational command of Army in the Indian State of Jammau and Kashmir. A total of 23 ceasefire violations have been confirmed along the international border under operational control of Border Security Force in Jammu and Kashmir.

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There were maximum 76 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC and 7 along the international border last month (July). Indian Army suffered one casualty in March and 2 in June this year, while 3 civilians were killed in ceasefire violation by Pakistan in May 2017.

 

Number of ceasefire violations Casualties

 

Month Along the line of Control in the State of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) under operational control of Army Along the international border in the State of J&K under operational control of BSF Army Civilian
January, 2017 08 02 00 00
February, 2017 11 04 00 00
March, 2017 22 02 01 00
April, 2017 26 02 00 00
May, 2017 73 06 00 03
June, 2017 76 07 02 00

 

Appropriate retaliation to the ceasefire violations is carried out by Indian Army. In addition, all violations of ceasefire are taken up with Pakistan authorities at the appropriate level through the established mechanism of hotlines, flag meetings as well as weekly talks between the Directorate Generals of Military Operations of the two countries.

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This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Shri Ajay Sancheti in Rajya Sabha today.

Terrorist attacks on Army personnel along LoC

Eighty-Four cross border infiltration bids by terrorists have been eliminated by the Indian Army along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir during the last three years.

Japan and Russia discuss North Korea, Syria and UN Security Council reform

 

Newsroom24x7 Network

Moscow: The Japan-Russia UN Consultation was held in Moscow, Russia, on Monday 24 July on regional issues discussed at the UN Security Council such as North Korea and Syria, and also UN reform including the Security Council reform.

In this consultation, Satoshi Suzuki, the Japanese Deputy Minister for Foreign Policy, exchanged views with Gennadiy Mikhaylovich GATILOV, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, and Aleksandr Anatolievich PANKIN, Director of the Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

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This consultation took place based on “2017 consultation plan between the Japanese and Russian Ministries of Foreign Affairs”, which was signed on the occasion of Japan-Russia Summit Meeting last December.

Earlier On April 27, Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, during his visit to Moscow, had held his 17th Japan-Russia Summit Meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President

Based on the outcomes of President Putin’s visit to Japan in December 2016, the two leaders had discussions covering a wide range of fields, including the issue of concluding a peace treaty, international affairs (including Syria and North Korea), economic relations, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

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Significantly, it was during Putin’s visit to Japan at the fag end of 2016 that Japan had agreed to allow relaxation of visa requirements for short-term stay for Russian nationals (ordinary passport holders).