By Vinay Kumar
NEW DELHI. Noting that Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) business of Indian carriers is around Rs 5000 crore annually and a majority of which is spent outside the country, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju has said that the Budget 2016 would pave the way for developing India as MRO hub of Asia. He said that tools and tool kits used by the MRO industry have been exempted from Customs and Excise duty. The proposed exemption would be given on the basis of documents certified by the regulator – Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The Minister also said that restriction of one year for utilisation of duty free parts was being removed. Foreign aircraft brought to India for MRO work will be allowed to stay up to six months or as extended by the DGCA. Mr Raju said that 90 per cent of the MRO business is currently spent in facilities in countries like Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, UAE. He added that the government was keen to develop India as MRO hub in Asia so that it can attract business from foreign airlines while retaining the domestic business of the airlines.
The Minister said that the national Capital will need more airports as the IGI airport was expected to reach its capacity by 2022-23. The Civil Aviation Ministry has given initial site clearance approval for the Bhiwadi airport project in Rajasthan which is around 80 km from IGI airport. There is also demand for another airport at Greater Noida on which a final decision is yet to be taken.