Santanu Choudhury, Bloomberg
New Delhi: India today reiterated its decision to keep overseas carriers from owning a stake in local airlines, while promising a review of investment norms for the aviation industry in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy.
“At this moment, there is no proposal, but all policies evolve according to the need of the situation,” Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told reporters in New Delhi today. “The policies are not frozen. We will continue to keep liberalizing the sector.”
The civil aviation ministry said in February it had asked the industry ministry to consider allowing overseas investors to own more equity in cargo airlines as part of a proposal to attract investments of as much as $70 billion (Rs2,91,823 crore). The ownership cap on scheduled airlines, or carriers that operate by a time-table, remains 49%, with overseas airlines barred from owning shares in them.
India’s aviation industry, which carries about 30 million passengers within the country annually, may grow about 50% this year and will need investments of as much as $120 billion by 2020, Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Chawla said.
— With reporting by Ashok Bhattacharjee in New Delhi