Delhi airport scam: GMR-led DIAL gains Rs 3,415 cr

IGI airport

Government auditor CAG today slammed the government for giving out Delhi airport and its land with a potential earning capacity of Rs 1,63,557 crore to private-led operator DIAL which made a total equity contribution of only Rs 2,450 crore.

With an equity contribution of Rs 2,450 crore of which the private GMR-led consortium's share was Rs 1,813 crore, the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) got a brownfield airport for 60 years, the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said. A brownfield airport is one which is already in existence.

The CAG report on the 'Implementation of Public private partnership Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi', tabled in Parliament, claimed that the commercial rights of land was valued at Rs 24,000 crore with a potential earning capacity according to its own estimates of Rs 1,63,557 crore.

Criticising the levy of Development Fee (DF) on passengers using Delhi Airport, the CAG also charged the Civil Aviation Ministry with violating the bid conditions for the benefit of DIAL to the tune of over Rs 3,415 crore and pressed for fixing of responsibility.

Currently, the DF is charged from both outgoing and incoming domestic and international passengers at the Delhi airport. The fee, levied in terms of distances, ranges from Rs 220 to Rs 520 for domestic passengers and Rs 490 to Rs 1200 for international ones.

Allowing DIAL to levy DF "vitiated the sanctity of bidding process" and led to undue benefit of Rs 3,415.35 crore to the private firm GMR, the CAG said. GMR Infrastructure holds 54 per cent stake in DIAL.

"It was noticed that Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India, on some occasions, violated the provisions of the transaction documents in the interest of the concessionaire," the official auditor said.

The CAG said the decision to levy DF after the effective date has vitiated the sanctity of the bidding process as the draft Operation, Maintenance and Development Agreement (OMDA), which was part of the bid documents, "does not mention about funding of the project cost of the airport through levy of development fees."

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