PORT DEAL

India Today - - NA TION -

sim­ply the ab­so­lute amount of rev­enue that would ac­crue to DIAL over 58 years ( with 45.99 per cent of the same to be shared with AAI), and does not rep­re­sent the time- value of money,” it said.

CAG also said the Gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion to of­fer “post- con­trac­tual ben­e­fit” to DIAL of levy­ing de­vel­op­ment fee forced pas­sen­gers to cough up Rs 3,415.35 crore to­wards the project cost. The min­istry said that AERA, an in­de­pen­dent reg­u­la­tor re­spon­si­ble for de­ter­min­ing tar­iff at ma­jor air­ports in the coun­try, had ap­proved the levy of de­vel­op­ment fee at Delhi, as well as Mum­bai air­port, af­ter tak­ing the Supreme Court judg­ment into ac­count.

CAG had also said that DIAL was given un­fair ad­van­tage by grant of uni­lat­eral right to ex­tend con­ces­sion by 30 years with­out rene­go­ti­at­ing the deal. The min­istry ex­plained that the ob­jec­tive of long con­ces­sion pe­riod was to at­tract in­vest­ments in a cap­i­tal in­ten­sive sec­tor when gov­ern­ment could not in­vest, to pro­vide im­pe­tus to pri­vati­sa­tion ef­forts and en­hance Gov­ern­ment rev­enue over a longer pe­riod. The min­istry said the con­ces­sion pe­riod of 30 ( plus 30 years, the ex­ten­sion be­ing pre­rog­a­tive of the joint ven­ture agree­ment) was men­tioned in the Op­er­a­tions, Man­age­ment and De­vel­op­ment Agree­ment, and re­leased to all bid­ders dur­ing the bid­ding process in 2005. It was not only for DIAL, and the same con­di­tions were of­fered to bid­ders for Mum­bai air­port.

All the terms and con­di­tions in the bid doc­u­ment were re­viewed by the Em­pow­ered Group of Min­is­ters and ap­proved by the Cab­i­net. This in­cluded al­low­ing the use of 5 per cent of air­port land for com­mer­cial pur­poses. “There has been no change in any con­di­tion/ cri­te­ria/ clauses af­ter the bid com­ple­tion and award of con­tract,” claimed the min­istry. Zaidi said that the au­dit of­fi­cers should hold fur­ther dis­cus­sions with the Min­istry of Civil Avi­a­tion of­fi­cials be­fore fi­nal­is­ing the CAG re­port and tabling it in Par­lia­ment.

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