Monday, March 22, 2021

AAI told to rethink rent concession

Kochi: The high court has ordered the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to reconsider the decision not to grant 50% concession in rent for the state government-owned company that runs the integrated air cargo complex at Trivandrum International Airport. Around 3,500 square metres in the complex is used by the company.

Justice PV Asha issued the order after considering a petition by Kerala State Industrial Enterprises Ltd (KSIEL), a company owned by the state government that was established in 1973 when the integrated air cargo complex (IACC) was proposed to be established at Thiruvananthapuram, in tune with the central government’s policy decision to set up IACCs in each state.

AAI had contended that it can provide concession only to government agencies directly or fully controlled by the government. The court pointed out that state government’s order (GO) of April 30, 1979 shows that KSIEL was appointed as the agency of the government for running the IACC.

Citing a letter issued by AAI to KSIEL in July 2018, the court said in the judgment, “Thus the 50% concession was ordered for the land allotted to government agencies. That would mean that if the air cargo is under a government department, 50% concession would be available. In the present case, there is no separate claim for state government.”

It is evident from the GO of 1979 that the petitioner is acting on behalf of the government of Kerala in implementation of the policy decision of the government of India to set up integrated cargo complexes, which could only be a public purpose. Therefore, whatever benefit is admissible to the government of Kerala should be granted to the petitioner, it said.

22/03/21 Times of India

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