Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Aviation ministry opposes demand for AAI profit as dividend

New Delhi: The aviation ministry has opposed the government’s demand for all of the Airports Authority of India’s profit for fiscal 2018 to be paid as dividend. The state-owned airport operator needs money to fund upgrades and expansion, aviation minister Suresh Prabhu said in a note to finance minister Arun Jaitley that was sent last month, said a senior government official.
“Exemption from payment of full profit as dividend has been sought on grounds that AAI has to invest a lot of money in upgrades at various airports and this money would be required over and above the money that we are planning to raise,” said the official, who did not want to be identified.
The government, through the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), has sought payment of profits in their entirety by government-owned companies as dividend. The move has been resisted by others PSUs too.
AAI has vast infrastructure plans as it looks to meet the requirements of the country’s aviation market, which has been growing in double digits for over four years now, putting pressure on existing facilities. It’s in the process of raising Rs 9,500 crore over a period of three years from the market to meet these upgrade costs.
21/01/19 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

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