Rajya Sabha passes Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amend) Bill

PTI

Rajya Sabha, File Photo

Rajya Sabha, File Photo

Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed a Bill allowing the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) to bid out any new airport at a pre-determined tariff structure.

Replying to the discussion on the Bill, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said,”As many as 16 airports will be in the purview of AERA. All other airports continue to be looked after by the Civil Aviation Ministry.”

Currently, major airports with an annual capacity to handle one-and-a-half million passengers come under the purview of Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA).

If the amendment is passed by Parliament, the definition of major airports would be changed to any aerodrome which has or is designated to have annual passenger capacity of three-and-a-half million.

The Cabinet on June 24 had approved the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority(Amendment), Bill.

The AERA is a regulator that has the powers to set the tariffs charged at airports.

The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) (Amendment) Bill was last approved by the Cabinet during the Modi government’s first tenure in December 2017.

However, it could not be passed in last year’s Monsoon Session.

As a new Lok Sabha has come in place now, the older Bill has lapsed and therefore, the Cabinet approved the bill again.

The minister also indicated that in in case there is no resolution of the case in the NCLT, then the government would look into it.

He also assured the members that government is making efforts to see that jobless employees of the beleaguered airline get jobs in other airlines.

He said that government has developed a portal to help those employees of the airline.

He also asked the members to pursue their states to cooperate when the issue of taxing aviation turbine fuel comes in the GST Council.

Earlier, moving the Bill, Puri informed that at present, the passenger throughput at the airports under Airport Authority of India (AAI) is in the vicinity of 344.69 million.

(PTI)