Wednesday, February 01, 2023

50 additional airports, heliports to be revived, allocates Rs 3,114 crore to aviation ministry

To improve regional air connectivity, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday (February 1) said the government will revive 50 additional airports, helipads, water aero drones and advanced landing grounds.

The FM Nirmala Sitharaman also allocated Rs 3,113.36 crore to the union civil aviation ministry.

The FY22 Union Budget had allocated Rs 10,667 crore for the civil aviation ministry for 2022-23. Out of the total allocation, Rs 600.7 crore has been earmarked for the regional connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik), while Rs 9,259 crore goes to AI Asset Holdings Ltd for servicing the loans transferred to the special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the financial restructuring of Air India.

An amount of Rs 165 crore has also been set aside for the medical benefits of retired Air India employees, the Budget document said.

In FY21 Union Budget, the civil aviation ministry was allocated Rs 3,224 crore, however, the government incurred high expenses during the divestment of Air India and, as a result, the revised expense for the civil aviation ministry during 2021-22 stood at Rs 72,652 crore.

Out of the total revised figure for 2021-22, the allocation towards Air India loans, grants in aid to Air India for cash losses during the COVID period and towards Air India Assets Holding Company for re-payment of dues and borrowings of the airline stood at Rs 68,501 crore.

In the Budget for 2021-22, the government had allocated Rs 600 crore for the UDAN scheme, but the total expenditure rose to Rs 994 crore.

01/02/23 Jomy Jos Pullokaran/CNBC TV18

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