More world-class airports in India soon! Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her press conference on May 16 announced today announced that the bid process for more airports in the country under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model will start soon. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has awarded 3 airports out of 6 for Operation and Maintenance on the PPP model. The annual revenue of the 6 airports in the first round is Rs 1,000 crore (against current profit of Rs 540 crore per year). AAI will get a down payment of Rs 2,300 crore. Six more airports have been identified for the second round and the bidding process for these will begin immediately. The idea of awarding these airports on the PPP model is to get world-class transit hubs in India.
According to FM Sitharaman, the additional investment by private players in the 12 airports in the first and the second rounds is expected to be around Rs 13,000 crore. Another six airports have been identified for the third round of bidding.
According to Sitharaman, industrial infrastructure upgradation will be a key focus area. “Structural reforms are the focus of today’s press conference,” Sitharaman said, adding that with these steps the idea is to find the right horizons for growth of the Indian economy.
The announcements are part of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package promised by PM Narendra Modi in his address to the nation earlier this week. Since then, FM Sitharaman has held three press conferences to announce various measures to boost the economy. The underlying theme of the package if “Atmanirbhar Bharat” or “Self-reliant India”. Since the infrastructure sector of the economy forms the backbone of economic growth, today’s announcements assume major significance. The infrastructure sector is also a key provider of employment, especially for migrants and labourers who are currently feeling the pain of the nationwide lockdown imposed to check the spread of Coronavirus pandemic.