The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal for leasing out airports at Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram through public-private partnership (PPP) for a period of 50 years.
Adani Enterprises had won the rights to run six airports including these three - the other three being Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Mangalore - through the PPP model after a competitive bidding process in February 2019.
In July 2019, the Union Cabinet had approved the proposal for leasing out Ahmedabad, Mangalore and Lucknow airports to Adani Enterprises.
At a press conference after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Cabinet has approved the proposal for leasing out Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram airports through the PPP model.
"The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is not giving these airports permanently to the private operator. After running them for 50 years, the private operator would be handing over the airports back to the AAI," said the minister.
Currently, all aforementioned six airports are owned and managed by the government-run AAI.
The minister said the AAI will receive Rs 1,070 crore as an upfront amount from the private operator for leasing the airports at Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and this fund will be used to develop airports in smaller cities.
"Another benefit of leasing these airports is that passengers will get good services," Mr Javadekar noted.
Eight months after the Cabinet approval, Adani Enterprises signed the concessionaire agreement with the AAI on February 14 this year for operation, management and development of airports at Ahmedabad, Mangalore and Lucknow.
In June this year, the AAI gave three more months to the Ahmedabad-based company to take over the management of these three airports due to the COVID-19 situation.
This means the deadline for takeover has been pushed from August 12 to November 12.
In a tweet, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, "In a momentous decision under the visionary leadership of PM Shri @narendramodi Ji, the Union Cabinet has given its stamp of approval for leasing of 3 more airports at Jaipur, Guwahati & Thiruvananthapuram on PPP basis."
PPP at these airports will not only help in delivery of efficient and quality services to the air passengers but will also help @AAI_Official in enhancing its revenues & focusing on developing more airports at Tier-II & Tier III places.- Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) August 19, 2020
"PPP at these airports will not only help in delivery of efficient and quality services to the air passengers but will also help @AAI_Official in enhancing its revenues & focusing on developing more airports at Tier-II & Tier III places," he added.
Mr Puri had on Tuesday said that the Ministry of Civil Aviation would place a proposal for "further" privatisation of airports before the Union Cabinet on Wednesday.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)