The aviation sector is showing signs of revival on the back of foreign direct investment and emergence of new players such as AirAsia and Tata-SIA Airline, the economic survey has said. However, for the sector to grow to its true potential, the government needs to take steps to ease norms for allowing new airlines to start operations and cut down red tape to attract potential investor, analysts said. Domestic passenger traffic grew a mere 5.2 per cent in 2013-14 at 122.43 million from 116.37 million in 2012-13.
The survey has emphasised on the need to ease exit conditions for project developers involved in construction of highways. “Some of them are facing difficulty in raising loans for road building. Financing of road projects has also run into difficulty as leveraged companies implementing road projects are unable to raise more debt in the absence of fresh equity,” the survey said.
Ports need to be revamped to provide world-class facilities. “Third-generation ships are not able to enter the harbour and goods have to be offloaded outside in smaller ships, adding to the costs. The immediate focus, therefore, should be on building world-class ports,” according to the economic survey.
Better policies to allow trading and sharing of spectrum are needed to bring down the cost of radiowaves, the economic survey said. Better spectrum management “may also pave the way for a liberal merger and acquisition policy as has been demanded by stakeholders”. The survey has also called for easing entry and exit rules for which “there is a need to look into separation of telecom networking from services”.