The National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India has issued the following statement today (on August 20, 2020) opposing the privatisation of three more airports:
In February, 2019, the first round of privatisation was cleared for operation, management and development of airports in Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Guwahati through PPP Model. In September, 2019, civil aviation ministry recommended for privatisation of Amritsar, Varanasi, Bhubaneshwar, Indore, Raipur and Trichy airports. The Airports authority of India owns and manages more than 100 airports across the country.
On August 18, 2020, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that his ministry would place a proposal for further privatisation of airports before the Union Cabinet.
On August 19, the Union Cabinet approved the proposal for leasing out three airports viz., Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram through Public Private Partnership (PPP).Adani group got all the 12 airports through the highest bidding process, as the group had signed the concessionaire agreement with the AAI for three airports – Ahmedabad, Mangaluru and Lucknow on February 14, 2020 and for the other three airports, it is yet to sign the concessionaire agreement.
Granting the airports to a single business entity and group would lead to monopoly and the group will squeeze the extra revenues from passengers and airlines. Besides there were income leakage and loss of revenue for the Airports Authority of India through the past experiences that had happened at Mumbai and Delhi airports. Hence, this privatisation of airports should be immediately stopped as it would be squarely escalate the cost of the airline travelers and airlines as well.