New Delhi, Jan 28 : Congress on Sunday slammed the Centre's decision to award airports to the Adani Group, saying that these airports will have virtually no government control for the next 50 years.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera quoting media reports said that 25 airports would be handed over to the private sector.
"A few months ago, Cabinet approved that the decision to give 5 airports to the Adani Group. Last week the government amended the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Act of 2008, wherein all such airports which the operators got, based on predetermined fee will be out of the purview of the Airport Authority of India. This basically means that all 5 airports handed over the to the Adani Group, will have virtually no government control for the next 50 years,' Khera told a press conference here.
He said only 14 out of 123 airports in India are running in profit, the rest 109 are in loss. Of the 14 profit making airports, 5 have been given to the Adani group.
Moreover, passengers will now have to pay aviation security fees instead of passenger service fee, which is 1.5 times more than the latter, as the central government has approved levying of Aviation Security Fees (ASF).
'We have been from time to time bringing before you facts which reveal and expose that every decision taken by Modi Government ends up benefiting and profiting big corporates, but goes against the common Indian. Whether it is the decision of bleeding MTNL/BSNL to benefit private operators or it is the decision to handover airports to the Adani Group, every such decision shows the real character of this government," Khera said.
The finance ministry had recommended not to award the same company more than two airports out of 6 airports that were to be privatised. The government’s PPP Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) ignored this recommendation of the Ministry. Another suggestion made by the Department Economic Affairs (DEA) and the Niti Ayog was the requirement of prior experience in Operation and Management and also providing the total project cost upfront for each of the airports to be privatized. (UNI)