Mumbai, Delhi Airports Being Sold To Private Firms For Next 60 Years; Income Will Be Shared With Govt
Responding to claims that the Delhi and Mumbai airports are being “sold out” completely to private stakeholders, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted that the airports were being sold for a fixed term of 60 years.
After the 60-year term is up, the 2 airports along with 6 others will once again be back under the authority of Airports Authority of India (AAI).
He added that despite a private takeover of the airports AAI will continue to receive its share of revenues.
Currently the revenue sharing agreement is 39% with the Mumbai airport and 46% with Delhi airport.
So far the 2 airports have generated revenues to the government in tune of Rs 29,000 crore till the last day of 2020 and revenue will continue to pour in even after divestment of the government’s shares in the airports.
Opposition Criticism And Response
Rahul Gandhi raised his voice against the privatisation move of airports which he says is against the public interest and serves vested interest of cronies at the top.
Puri fired back by saying that government leaders should be equipped with facts before launching tirades.
The 4 major airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad were already privatised or set up during the erstwhile Congress regime.
He then said that the people of “New India” were no longer willing to settle with poor infrastructure and connectivity in their towns and cities.
They demand world-class standards. He gave an example that these citizens were not happy with simply a railway station but wanted an airport, and an international one at that.
Government and Revenue Generation
The government is chasing its asset monetisation target of Rs 2.5 lakh crore. This figure is attainable especially with privatisation of public assets.
Privatisation has been hailed by the Centre as a method of raising resources without imposing additional taxes on citizens.
The revenue sharing arrangement between the government and the 2 airports will generate resources which will then be used to build and improve aviation infrastructure.
Highlighting future ambitions of the Modi government, Puri revealed that the administration is chasing a target of developing 100 more airports in Tier II & III cities.
Puri acknowledged past accomplishments in which 56 underserved & unserved airports saw improved connectivity by addition of 1,000 new air routes under Regional Connectivity Scheme.