CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member KN Balagopal has complained to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the Airport Development Fee (ADF) being charged at the Delhi airport is in violation of administrative and Parliamentary procedures.
In a letter to the PM he said more than Rs 1,400 crore collected by the Delhi International Airport Private Limited (DIAL) earlier was without any legal provision. DIAL is the private operator of the Delhi airport.
Following a notification by the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (Aera) — the airport regulator — an ADF of Rs 200 is being levied on each domestic passenger from Dec 1. The fee for an international passenger is Rs 1,300. DIAL has been allowed to levy the fee till May 2013.
“This has reference to my earlier letter dated August 10 regarding the illegal collection of development fee by the DIAL,” Balagopal wrote to the PM on November 30.
He said the government had framed some rules and laid them on the table of Rajya Sabha to help DIAL collect ADF. “While floating the tender, there was no provision to collect the development fee. As per parliamentary procedure, rules will come into force only after they are adopted by Parliament.”
Balagopal said he had moved an amendment to the proposed rules. He added the rules had not been finalised or accepted by Parliament and were not enforceable yet. “But to my utter surprise, I have come to know that Aera has allowed DIAL to levy ADF again.”
A DIAL spokesperson said the development fee was levied in accordance with provisions of the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994, and the Centre had notified the rules for regulating and utilising the fee. “… Aera has determined the quantum, rate and period of levy of development fee after a thorough audit and effective consultation process.”
An Aera official said, “It is for the government to take a view on this.”