Assocham asks govt to fast-track clearance for Jet-Etihad deal
New Delhi: Industry body Assocham Sunday asked the government to expedite mandatory clearances to give effect to the proposed Jet-Etihad deal and launch fresh efforts to revive the grounded Kingfisher Airlines.
The government should "ensure that all the mandatory clearances from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board and even from RBI should be given expeditiously so that a refurbished entity takes off with a renewed vigour," it said.
Assocham said: "After the Etihad-Jet deal, fresh efforts should also be made to revive the grounded Kingfisher Airlines."
"After all, public money worth several thousands of crores of rupees is locked and the stakeholders ‘be it banks, employees and promoters’ all are the losers," it said.
Observing that Indian aviation industry was witnessing early signs of revival, Assocham said the proposed deal for Etihad Airways to pick up stake in Jet Airways would "infuse new lease of life" in the troubled Indian aviation sector.
The industry has been navigating headwinds from the economic slowdown that led to slump in passenger traffic and spike in operational costs, it added.
"Induction of capital by Etihad, one of the most efficient airlines of the world will not only improve the financial position of Jet Airways, but would also bring several operational benefits as well as give an extended reach to the Indian carrier," Assocham said.
The two airlines are expected to clinch the deal soon and apply for approval of the stake sale deal to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) of the Finance Ministry.
Assocham said the proposed deal would also send positive signals among global investors who want to invest in different sectors of the economy.
It said Etihad has in the last two years picked up strategic stakes in several global carriers like Virgin Australia, Air Seychelles and Aer Lingus. "In a way, Jet would become part of the big Etihad reach all around the world," Assocham said.
However, the chamber said, a lot more needs to be done both from the industry and from the policy perspectives.