New Delhi: Global airlines' body IATA on Tuesday asked the government to improve infrastructure and cut costs and "excessive" taxation on aviation, saying it could be done by preparing a national aviation policy in India.
"Solutions to these (problems) must be coordinated across all ministries and levels of government. That is why I have called for India to formulate a national aviation policy.
"The call was not for special favours or preferential treatment. But rather for a coordinated policy framework that would facilitate growth," Director General of International Air Transport Association (IATA) Tony Tyler said here.
Addressing a CII conference on aviation, he stressed that a stronger aviation sector would act as a catalyst for wider economic benefits.
"Growth is important for India - not just the aviation industry. Indian economic growth is running at about five per cent. That's near-half of what it used to be.
"And Finance Minister P Chidambaram had a difficult job finding the right levers to pull in order to move towards a more balanced budget which creates the conditions for growth and prosperity.
"Sadly, once again the Finance Minister did not include the aviation industry in his plans, as a strong catalyst for economic growth -- continuing to see it only as a source of taxation," Tyler said.
Maintaining that aviation and aviation-related tourism in India supported 1.5 per cent of GDP or over Rs 900 billion of business and 1.8 per cent of the workforce -- which is 8.8 million jobs.
"And these are good jobs. For those 1.7 million directly employed in transport, each generates about 1.3 million rupees in value added to the Indian economy -- or about ten times the Indian average," the IATA chief said.