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Centre to sell remaining stake in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad airports

BusinessToday.In     March 14, 2021

The Centre is planning to sell its remaining stake in already privatised Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports. This is part of the Central government's ambitious Rs 2.5 lakh crore asset monetisation pipeline, which has been identified to raise additional resources.   

The sale of Airport Authority of India's (AAI) residual stake in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports and 13 more airports have been identified for privatisation in FY21-22, people aware of deliberations at Empowered Committee of Secretaries last month told news agency PTI.  

The aviation ministry will obtain the necessary approval required for the disinvestment of the equity stake of AAI in the respective joint ventures running these four airports. The Cabinet may receive this proposal for their approval in the next few days.

"For the 13 AAI airports identified for privatisation, the possibility of clubbing of profitable and non-profitable airports will be explored to make more attractive packages," sources told PTI.

Earlier, in the first round of airports' privatisation drive under the Narendra Modi-led government, the Adani group had bought contracts for six airports. These were Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati. The AAI manages more than 100 airports across the country for the aviation ministry.

Currently, Adani Group owns 74% of Mumbai International Airport, while AAI owns the remaining 26%. GMR Group holds a 54% stake in Delhi International Airport, Fraport AG and Eraman Malaysia hold a 10% stake, while AAI owns 26% of the airport.

AAI along with the government of Andhra Pradesh owns 26 per cent of Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. AAI along with the Karnataka government holds a similar stake in Bangalore International Airport.

In her Budget speech in Parliament on February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that monetising functioning public infrastructure assets is necessary for financing new infrastructure.

A "National Monetisation Pipeline" of potential brownfield infrastructure assets will be launched and an asset monetisation dashboard will also be created for tracking the progress and to provide visibility to investors, the FM had said.

The Centre's goal is to generate Rs 1.75 lakh crore from disinvestment proceeds in the next fiscal year.

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