Monday, September 28, 2020

Centre may club unviable airports with 6 main airports in next round of privatisation

In an attempt to put brakes on fostering monopoly in the airport management sector, the Centre is planning to revamp how airports would be privatised in the country. According to a Business Standard report, the Centre is mulling to club unviable airports with six main airports in the next round of privatisation.

The government is in the final stages of framing rules of privatising airports at Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Tiruchirappalli, Raipur, Indore and Varanasi. As per a proposal by an Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS), these airports will be clubbed with Barmer (Rajasthan), Jharsuguda (Odisha), Salem (Tamil Nadu), Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh), Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) and Kushinagar (Uttar Pradesh) respectively. 

The move to club these unviable airports in the same geography with the main airports is aimed to improve the regional infrastructure. According to the proposal, the winning bidder will be given six unviable airports in a similar geography.

The EGoS has directed the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to analyse the attractiveness and constraints of such a process before finalising the units for sale. Further, a cap of maximum two airports will be on the bidders to break Adani-like monopoly. The cap is likely to be placed before the government is likely to invite bids for privatisation of Varanasi, Calicut, Patna, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi, Coimbatore, Trichy, Indore, and Raipur airports in its next round. 

28/09/20 The Week

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