Wednesday, October 25, 2017

India Legal report on airport scam in making shocks all

In a series of exclusive reports from India Legal, it has come to light that the Delhi  International Airport Limited (DIAL), with its joint venture partner GMR Airports Ltd (GAL), has been siphoning money in dubious ways, denying government agencies like the CISF nearly dues worth Rs 655 crore for airport security. In his report published in the October 30 issue of the weekly magazine, India Legal journalist Sujit Bhar has highlighted much that is rotten in the joint venture (JV) that Airports Authority of India (AAI) has with GMR Infrastructure’s subsidiary, GAL.

The JV includes GAL holding 64 percent, Germany’s Fraport 10 percent and AAI 26 percent of the shares. The deal, heavily undervalued to suit the private sector infrastructure giant, has come back to haunt the venture as well as Indira Gandhi International Airport, once declared the best airport in the world. It has been revealed that the JV has been bled to such an extent that the intrinsic value of its equity has heavily eroded. The internal audit wing of the principal accounts office, ministry of civil aviation (MoCA), conducted an audit of the accounts of DIAL in March 2016 that revealed the irregularities.

In a special report, Mudda discussed the issue with Bhar, India Legal editor-in-chief Inderjit Badhwar, Supreme Court senior advocate Pradeep Rai, APN consultant Govind Pant Raju, and aviation experts Vipul Maheshwari and Harshvardhan.

Anchorperson Himanshu Dixit started the debate by asking Bhar about the case. Bhar said that it is now clear the airport devaluation was orchestrated to favour GMR. He added that GMR is in a debt of nearly Rs 35,000 crore. The JV with DIAL was seen as a “cash cow” that would bail out GMR. CISF was left waiting for its dues.

Maheshwari said that it looks like the overall situation is no better than that in the Vijay Mallya scam. “There has been no accountability. Why should the Home ministry shut its eyes to this scam? This is worth probing. How come ordinary people are besieged with income tax notices while DIAL and GMR were allowed to go scot-free?” he said.

Raju said that this is a dangerous trend. “Was there no global tendering? Why was the GMR favoured in this way? The centre needs to probe this murky deal,” he said.
Bhar said that the aviation sector is a high security one, and more than 49 percent of foreign participation is not allowed here. This sector cannot be looked at from a pure business point of view. Now GMR has appealed to increase the fee levied on passengers so that it can pay off maintenance dues, including the dues to the CISF. The government knows that cannot happen. So how will the CISF gets its money back?’
25/10/17 India Legal