New Delhi: The government has approved the proposal to allow state-owned helicopter company Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited (PHHL) to continue its subsidised services in Lakshadweep islands for five years.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which met here yesterday, has also approved Rs 19 crore per annum as government subsidy for hiring or chartering helicopters from PHHL.
The charges towards service tax and foreign exchange fluctuations would be met by the Lakshadweep administration or Home Ministry.
PHHL has been providing helicopter services in the Lakshadweep since February 1987. The arrangement was extended for five years in 2007 and it ended on March 31, 2012.
The new arrangement would be in effect from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2017.
The helicopter service is an important transport and communication system for the island, particularly during the monsoon season when movement of ships and ferries are strictly restricted.
It also serves as a feeder service for connecting airline passengers to and from Agatti.