House panel notes airlines' reluctance to pass fuel price benefit

House panel notes airlines' reluctance to pass fuel price benefit

The reluctance by airlines in passing on the benefit of the reduction in aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices to fliers has come under the scanner of a parliamentary panel, which asked the government to step in to provide relief to the common man.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture also wants the ministry of civil aviation to look at the option of fixing an upper limit for airfares for every sector, especially the economy class.

In its report on Demands for Grants (2017-18) of the ministry of civil aviation, the panel touched upon the issue of 50% reduction of ATF prices over a period of time.

Despite this, the panel headed by Trinamool Congress MP Mukul Roy said that airlines have not passed on the benefit of reduction in ATF prices to the consumers.

“The committee recommends that the ministry should take effective steps to ensure that the airlines pass on the benefit to the travellers by reducing the air fares and inform the committee about the specific steps taken in this regard and the outcome thereof,” it said. Noting that it has received a number of complaints regarding exorbitant airfare, the panel said it is aware of the fact that the existing rules and regulations are working in the way of regulating airfares.

“We are a developing country and many of the pricing mechanism applicable to the developed countries may not suit the Indian people and Indian conditions...,” it said.

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