The bold and inspiring leadership of Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Minister for Civil Aviation has put Indian Civil Aviation sector firmly back on path to becoming the 3rd largest in the world
Speaking at a recent ASSOCHAM organised Civil Aviation CEO’s roundtable and attended by the who’s who of the aviation sector, Ajay Singh, Senior Vice President, ASSOCHAM and CMD of SpiceJet said, “The government and Civil Aviation minister has been very proactive in engaging with the sector. They have given us their time and have been aggressively espousing the requirements of the sector. We have been talking about this whole concept of taxes on fuel for the longest time and it is Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Union Minister for Civil Aviation who has reached out to the states and got many of them to reduce the VAT on fuel from 25-30 per cent to 0-5 per cent. The success of the Regional Connectivity Scheme, success of the Air India divestment too can be attributed to the Minister”.
These words were not just an endorsement of the Civil Aviation minister’s initiatives and pro-active engagements with the aviation industry, but were also highlighting the thoughts and feelings of the entire aviation leadership gathered in that room. Seeing the Minister engaging with the industry stalwarts at the ASSOCHAM event, the collective mindset of the assembled leaders was like, “Here we have a dynamic Minister who is willing to listen and sort out our problems! The sector, which had taken a huge beating in the previous two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, needed such a leader who would proactively look at the issues and challenges faced the industry and actually sort them out. Not just provide a lip service to the stakeholders”.
Jyotiraditya M. Scindia took charge as the Union Minister of Civil Aviation in July 2021 when the civil aviation sector was facing strong headwinds due to the coronavirus pandemic which had impacted overall demand and has also resulted in financial woes for the industry players. At the time of taking over, he had tweeted, “Delighted to take the baton of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. I resolve to discharge my duties with earnestness.” Nearly 15 months down the line, he has been true to every word that he had said at that time and has implemented bold and critical reforms. Ushering in major changes in DGCA, he launched the eGCA service aimed at eliminating operational inefficiencies, minimising personal interaction, improving regulatory reporting, enhancing transparency and increasing productivity. The project is aimed at automation of the processes and functions of DGCA signifying a paradigm shift from restrictive regulation to constructive collaboration. The Minister has set up nine advisory groups, covering a wide array of sub-sectors like Airlines, Airports, MROs, Flying Training Schools, Cargo, Ground handlers, Aircraft manufacturing, and regularly meets them to understand their pain points and the support required by them. Jyotiraditya M. Scindia says that we have just begun and soon there will be a review to understand as to how the customers have benefitted and what more needs to be done. The Minister says that ours is a responsive government and has called for cooperation and support of all stakeholders in strengthening the Civil Aviation sector.
Just recently, in a Lecture Series, the Minister gave valuable advice to students about Leadership. He said, “a Good Leader should have certain qualities. He must have a vision, ability to set up a Goal and the ability to set up a direction towards achieving that Goal. He must have courage and commitment, and it should come from heart.” Evidently, India’s Civil Aviation sector now has a Minister who practices what he preaches!