Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 11:
The Odisha government today decided to waive value added tax (VAT) on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) for the international flights coming to, leaving from or passing through the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar.
A decision to this effect was taken at the State Cabinet meeting presided over by chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat here this morning.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, chief secretary Gokul Chandra Pati said the cabinet decided for complete waiver of VAT from all international flights to and from Bhubaneswar.
“Though the Airport Authority of India has accorded international airport status to Biju Patnaik Airport since October, 2013, there has been no international flights from here till date. We have repeatedly requested the Centre to take a decision in this regard at the earliest. Though the FlyDubai Airlines was keen on launching its flight from Bhubaneswar, the Union Civil Aviation ministry did not give it permission. The state government, which had brought down VAT on ATF from 20 percent to 5 percent last year to encourage international airlines to start flights from Bhubaneswar, today decided to completely waive the VAT for the international fights if they agree to use the city airport as the destination or for a stopover,” the chief secretary said. Pati, however, clarified that VAT will remain at 5 percent for domestic flights.
He said the cabinet also cleared the new Special Economic Zone (SEZ) policy in the state.
“The Centre, which had formulated a new SEZ Policy in 2007 following the approval of the Union Cabinet, had asked the state governments to frame their own SEZ Policy. A a new SEZ policy framed by the state government in 2003 was scrapped later. Under the new SEZ policy, the SEZ developer can sublet leased land to other industries. Besides, the industries coming under the SEZ, will avail complete exemption on Stamp Duty, VAT and Entry Tax,” he said.
The cabinet also approval a proposal on transfer of 107 acres of government land, leased out to Jayashree Chemicals, to Aditya Birla Chemicals Ltd.
It also approved amendments to the Odisha Subordinate Staff Selection District Cadre Rules. Under the newly amended rules, employees in category B and C having 4200 grades will be selected for promotion.
“The cabinet approved a proposal to provide five acres of premium free government land at Brajaviharpur Mouza under Athgarh tehsil in Cuttack district for setting up of a regional centre of Maulana National Urdu University. However, the University will have to pay the annual rent on the leased land,” the chief secretary said.
“The cabinet also approved amendment to Section 119 of the Odisha Municipal Corporation Act , 2003. Under the new amendment, the Municipal employees would be at par with the government employees and avail pension benefits,” he added.