New Delhi: India's civil aviation minister Ajit Singh Monday said he has asked the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to make aviation turbine fuel a notified commodity, in an attempt to keep a check on the rising jet fuel costs.
"We have written to them (oil ministry) and are seeking approvals for declare it as a notified product," Singh said, adding that the ministry is also in touch with the Ministry of Finance and chief ministers of various states to bring down taxes, in order to help reduce burden of fuel cost on airlines.
The airlines will be charged an uniform sales tax of 4% once ATF is listed as a notified product and then Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) will have authority to control the high jet fuel costs.
Meanwhile, national debt-ridden carrier Air India's Chairman and Managing Director Rohit Nandan told The Economic Times that the airline may further raise fuel surcharge to recover the additional cost burden.
"If the fuel prices go up further, the carrier will not shy away from passing costs on to the passengers.... If we don't pass on fuel costs, we won't break even," Nandan told the daily.
Recently, Air India raised fuel surcharge by Rs 150 on domestic flights of up to 1,000 kilometer and by Rs 250 for longer routes, following a recent 7.6% hike in ATF.
The jet fuel currently sold in India is about 50%-60% higher than in the international markets like Singapore, Bangkok and Dubai due to an additional 4%-34% state sales tax. In India, ATF constitutes almost half of an airline's operating costs, compared to 20-25% globally.