Sunday, January 03, 2021

Delhi: Regulator nixes extra tariff hike sought by DIAL

New Delhi: The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority has for now saved flyers and airlines from a steep hike in tariffs at IGI airport that would have made flying in and out of Delhi airport more expensive. Headed by retired IAS officer B S Bhullar, the regulator has pointed out DIAL has "over-collected revenues (beyond its) entitlement by Rs 5,721 crore (earlier).... This surplus collection needs to be considered for recovery from the airport operator".

DIAL had requested viability gap funding for the third control period (till March 31, 2024) of Rs 3,538 crore to meet cash shortfall during this time due to reduced travel amid Covid. Additionally, the operator had sought to charge Rs 200 and Rs 300 from each departing domestic and international flyers.

AERA is not inclined to consider the issues raised by DIAL at this stage…. Given the fact that the projected over-recovery (after March 31, 2024) is expected to be substantial at around Rs 1,267 crore, any additional cash support in form of increase in tariff would mean a higher over-recovery in the later years. Hence providing additional tariff at this stage would make the process of recover difficult in future,” the B S Bhullar-headed AERA order states.

It goes on to add that the pending proposal for additional hike sought by DIAL “is unfair to airport users as having already overpaid in previous years and rather than being benefited from adjustment of this amount (users) would have to bear additional burden”. The sought and denied tariff hike would “worsen sustainability of airlines who are expected to post record losses” and, in turn, “adversely affect the airport”.

03/01/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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