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MoCA to set up Sub-Group to suggest ways to improve cargo-related infra

Aviation
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The civil aviation ministry on Tuesday announced setting up of a sub-group comprising members from domestic air cargo agents body DACAAI, AAI logistics arm AAICLAS, various airlines and a joint venture airport, for suggesting ways and means to improve cargo-related infrastructure issues.

The sub-group will be looking into matters that are hindering the growth of domestic cargo by air, the Domestic Air Cargo Agents Association of India (DACAAI) said in its statement.

A virtual conference hosted by the association on Monday on “Rebooting Aviation-DACCAI-Issues and Challenges of Domestic Air Cargo Logistics”, which was attended by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri as chief guest saw the sub groups constitution.

The statement said, “With regard to the suggestion of DACAAI for improving infrastructure and other issues concerning domestic air cargo, he (the minister) instantly constituted a sub-group consisting of DACAAI, AAICLAS, airline and JV airport representatives to go into matters that were hindering the growth of domestic cargo by air,”

It also said the minister emphasised that the sub-group will study all issues and challenges facing domestic air cargo operations and come up with recommendations with a view to facilitate and increase volumes of domestic cargo by air.

As per the statement the sub-group is expected to submit its report within 15 days.

The virtual conference also saw the participation of Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola, Special Secretary in the commerce ministry, Pawan Agarwal,  \SpiceJet Chairman, and Managing Director Ajay Singh, and budget carrier IndiGo Chief Commercial Officer William Boulter, as well as senior functionary of the DCAAI.

According to the statement, Singh told the minister that the airlines would like to have self-handling of domestic air cargo with a view to improve transit times and efficiency and bring down costs of logistics.

It added that a new freighter policy with concessional landing, parking and cheaper aircraft fuel would help the domestic sector exploit its huge potential.

Supporting SpiceJet’s view on self-handling, Boulter said that direct handling by airlines would bring in plenty of advantages and benefits to expand the domestic cargo industry, the statement stated.

DACAAI President Amit Bajaj suggested the government remove anomalies in the GST rates on domestic air cargo vis-à-vis the ones applicable on-road transportation.

An 18 per cent GST rate levied on domestic air cargo acts as an added cost of operation that makes domestic air carriage unviable and move to road and other modes of transport, Bajaj said.

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