Islamabad, January 13, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here at the Finance Ministry late Monday, chaired a meeting to review the proposed Aviation Policy.
At the outset of the meeting Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Aviation, Capt. Shujaat Azeem said that in order to encourage aviation sector in Pakistan a dynamic and forward looking draft aviation policy had been formulated on the directives of the Prime Minister after a gap of 14 years. All stake holders including airlines, flying clubs, charter operators, cargo operators, ground handling agencies and general aviation were consulted in the process, he said.
He briefed the meeting about contours of the draft Aviation Policy, emphasizing relaxation in the overall tax regime which he deemed essential to encourage growth of the aviation sector. He said that in contrast to other countries in the region, aviation sector’s contribution in Pakistan was under 0.01%. For countries like India, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand it ranged between 1.5% to 9.0%. Only 8% of the 180 million strong Pakistani population had access to air travel, he informed the meeting. The situation could change with provision of proper incentives to prospective investors, he observed.
The draft policy among other things also recommends tax free investment in aviation and calls for outsourcing all major airports (Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad); landside and international buildings to prominent foreign companies in airport business through a transparent process. The Policy emphasizes developing quality indigenous repair and maintenance facilities in the country to save huge expenses on seeking such services from abroad. The meeting was informed that investment in the aviation sector would not only generate more revenue but also create a large number of job opportunities thus helping alleviate unemployment.
Senator Ishaq Dar appreciated the initiative taken by the Aviation Division in formulation of the said Policy. He added that the Finance Ministry, specifically the FBR would study fiscal aspects of the Policy and apprise the aviation division of its standpoint as early as possible.
Senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, FBR and Aviation Division attended the meeting.
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