Ministry pitches for transparent aviation bidding process

Written by Economy Bureau | Mumbai, Oct 29 | Updated: Oct 30 2007, 04:42am hrs
In a bid to make the investments for airport development more attractive, the civil aviation ministry will soon seek Cabinet approval to simplify policy framework and will put in place standardised model concession agreement. The ministry is also committed to make the bidding process more open and transparent. Civil aviation secretary Ashok Chawla announced these decisions at the US-India CEO Forum Infrastructure Investment Conference on Monday.

Chawla said the ministry would soon take up before the Cabinet a detailed note on policy matrix on airports development. Legal framework and other processes for setting up greenfield airports need to be spelt out, as adequate knowledge is not avai able, he said.

According to Chawla, the contractual/concessional agreements have certain clauses for new greenfield airports coming up in Bangalore and Hyderabad, while for Mumbai and Delhi, which are being upgraded by the private sector, they have different provision. The Planning Commission has made a standardised model concession agreement, he noted. Chawla said the ministry is in the midst of making the bidding process more open and transparent and investors would know upfront all facts. He informed the gathering that the Bangalore and Hyderabad airports would be operational by the first quarter of 2008 while the development of 35 non-metro airports would be possible by 2011.

He called upon investors also to tap opportunities in the development of flying schools and pilot academies. Power secretary Anil Razdan said there have been ample opportunities for investors in the proposed capacity addition of over 78,000 mw by 2012. Of the 78,000 mw-plus, orders have been placed for 60,000 mw, while projects with another 15,000 mw would begin execution by March next year. Besides, investors can also tap opportunities in the transmission and distribution segments too. Urban development secretary M Ramachandran said an investment of Rs 7,91,000 crore would be required for infrastructure development in 5,61 towns and cities, of which as many as Rs 3,35,000 crore would be needed in 63 cities.