Aviation panel to come up with bailout package for industry

August 14th, 2008 - 11:37 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) A high-level panel, headed by Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar, Thursday asked the petroleum ministry to work out relief measures for the aviation industry, which is reeling under high fuel costs. The panel, constituted to look into the concerns of the aviation sector, is expected to come up with the bailout package, a ministry spokesperson said.

The committee would meet after three weeks, the official said.

The panel was set up July 9 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after a delegation comprising Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and airline operators apprised him of the situation arising out of high fuel costs.

The committee has as its members the secretaries from the ministries of finance, civil aviation, revenue, petroleum and natural gas and the Planning Commission. It also includes Infrastructure Development Finance Co (IDFC) chairman Deepak Parekh and Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad professor Raghuram.

Indian airline companies have jointly suffered an estimated loss of Rs.40 billion last fiscal, which is expected to double to Rs.80 billion this year. The carriers together suffered losses of Rs.6 billion in 2006-07.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), at least 24 airlines globally have folded up in the past six months mainly due to rising operational expenses stemming from high fuel prices.

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