Monday, January 29, 2007

Finmin calls for viable airport tariffs

New Delhi: The finance ministry has called for ‘transparent guidelines’ to determine airport tariffs. The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), proposed to be set up soon, should finalise clear guidelines for fixing tariffs, keeping in mind the interests of consumers while ensuring that airports are run on a commercial basis. A Bill to establish the AERA is expected to be introduced in Parliament during the Budget session.
The finance ministry feels tariffs fixed by AERA should progressively reflect the cost of supply of services. The ministry has argued that AERA should specify the method of tariff determination. Besides fixing aeronautical charges, the finance ministry has said the airports regulator should also determine tariffs for non-aeronautical services. The ministry has argued that revenues from non-aeronautical tariffs could be used to cross-subsidise other airport charges.
The finance ministry has suggested that apart from fixing tariffs, AERA could provide inputs for the overall tariff policy along the lines of suggestions provided by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
The finance ministry feels AERA should establish a detailed and transparent procedure for issue of tariff orders, giving adequate representation to all stakeholders.
29/01/07 Sunny Verma & Ganapathy Subramaniam/Economic Times