Aviation

Served from India’ scheme adds to Indian airlines’ woes

DELHI

Indian carriers’ financial woes have worsened with airlines unable to use their Served From India Scheme (SFIS) duty credit scrip to pay excise duty on fuel. Airlines are learnt to be having SFIS duty credit scrips worth almost Rs 1,500-2,000 crore that are about to expire without being used, with Air India and Jet Airways among the biggest sufferers.

“The SFIS scheme was applicable to the aviation industry upto January 2011 when the scheme was discontinued, reports Times of India. The federation of Indian airlines has been asking for continuity of this scheme. Then SFIS scrips issued by DGFT are valid for 18-24 months and were issued one to two years. The unutilized scrips with Indian carriers should be made tradebale and they should be accepted for the purpose they were issued for. Otherwise it is a gross national loss,” said a senior airline official.

Though the DGFT office permitted the utilization of these scrips for excise duty payable on fuel, the modalities of adjustment of these scrips at refinery gates have not been spelled out by the department of revenue, resulting in lack of clarity in adjustment of these scrips by excise authorities. “Due to this scrips worth Rs 1500 to Rs 2000 crore are lying untilized with airlines. Some scrips have even expired. The Scrip also needs to be made tradeable to suit the convenience of the exporter to utilise it on a broader scale,” the official added. With jet fuel price at Rs 60,000-65,000 per kilo litre, the 8% excise works out to almost Rs 4,800 per kl. Airlines have been using their SFIS duty credit to pay excise on aviation turbine fuel (ATF).

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