RS MPs demands for ‘regulatory body’ to control airfares

Complaining that airlines were “looting” passengers, Rajya Sabha members today asked the government to set up a regulatory mechanism so the carriers could not charge exorbitant prices.

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, K N Balagopal (CPI-M) said airlines were charging exorbitant prices, especially from travellers to Middle Eastern countries and cited example of high fares between Calicut and the Gulf.

Observing that foreign airlines were ruling the aviation market, he said the airlines are “looting actually”.

When Deputy Chairman P J Kurien asked for government’s response on the matter, Minister of State of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said he would convey it to the minister concerned.

As some time was still left in the Zero Hour after all the mentions were taken up, the issue was raised again.

A member said airfares between Delhi and Amritsar had touched as high as Rs 1 lakh during recent the Jat agitation in Haryana.

Rajiv Shukla (Cong) demanded that there should be regulatory authority for air prices.

“There should be some regulatory mechanism. This is the sense of the House,” Kurien said and asked Naqvi to convey the sense to the government.

Earlier, the House witnessed some lighter moments.

As some members were not present for the special mentions, Kurien said most of the them did not accept that the matter would be taken up during the morning hour. He also quipped “running (the House) has a become a rare thing”.

During the past two days, the House had witnessed uproar and disruptions due to sloganeering by AIADMK and Congress members.

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