Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Put auditing mechanism for PPP airports, review Open Sky

New Delhi: A proper auditing mechanism for PPP airports such as GMR group-managed Delhi airport and Adani Group-run Mumbai airports, treating all aviation related business for priority-sector lending and reviewing Open Sky policy that benefits foreign airlines at the cost of domestic carriers are among the key suggestions of a 32-member Parliamentary panel.

Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture chaired by Rajya Sabha member TG Venkatesh in its report on ‘Functioning of Airports Authority of India' has observed that government needs to look at the entire mechanism of development of airports and the way airport concessions are given to private developers.

Members of the Committee include TMC MP Derek O’Brien, BJP leader Tirath Singh Rawat, Prasanna Acharya (BJD). Sushil Kumar Modi was included in the panel last December. "The committee emphasizes the need to ensure transparency in all PPP airport projects. The committee desires that the Ministry should ensure that a proper policy and regulatory framework governing the PPP airport projects is put in place. The committee underlines the need to ensure a proper auditing mechanism with regard to PPP projects," the Committee has said.

It strongly recommended the Ministry of Civil Aviation to ensure that the airport charges on the passengers are equitable and commensurate with the operational costs. The House panel observed that the rights to operate airports are given to individuals or entities who bid the highest with the AAI. Further, when those services are given to the highest bidder, the highest bidder charges the highest amount of money from the airlines, which has little or no bearing on the actual cost of the service.

03/08/21 UNI

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