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    Govt having relook at UPA's airport privatisation plan

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    Govt having relook at UPAs airport privatisation plan
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    New Delhi: With airlines complaining of high airport charges in the country, the government is having a relook at the process of privatisation of six major airports started by the previous UPA dispensation.

    Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju has suggested fresh broad-based consultations between the Centre and states and with airport developers, airlines, passenger associations and travel operators before finalising the model concession agreement for construction and operation of airports through public-private partnership (PPP).

    The UPA-II government had early last year launched the PPP process for modernising six airports at Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur, Guwahati, Ahmedabad and Lucknow.

    But the process could not be concluded due to reported difference of opinion between the Civil Aviation Ministry and the Planning Commission on the model concession agreement and issues like revenue sharing and the period of lease. The process was finally stalled after the general elections were announced.

    Official sources said discussions were now being held to elicit views of all stakeholders to draft the model agreement clearly to ensure transparency and avoid grievances of stakeholders at a later stage.

    The problem of high airport charges and other related issues affecting the airlines have triggered fresh debate among the parties concerned, they said, adding fresh discussions were necessary to ensure that privatisation did not increase airport charges and costs.

    An Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG), including officials of Finance and Civil Aviation Ministries and the Planning Commission, has started the process of revisiting matters like revenue-sharing model and the master concession agreement in public-private partnerships (PPP) in airports.

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