The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will earn Rs. 3 lakh crore over the next 58 years from Delhi airport, papers accessed by HT have revealed.
This calculation is based on the same method adopted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to estimate the earning potential of the land given to Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) for the airport.
In a draft report, CAG had mentioned that DIAL, which is building and operating the Delhi airport, received land with an earning potential of Rs. 1,63,557 crore. This was arrived at after taking the sum total of lease rental over 58 years at an average annual escalation of 5.8%.
According to the agreement, DIAL has to share 45.99% of gross revenue with AAI. DIAL has paid Rs. 704 crore to AAI in 2011-12 as part of the revenue share agreement.
By extrapolating this amount with 5.8% average annual escalation - a rate used by CAG - the benefit to AAI works out to Rs. 2,40,209 crore.
If one takes into account the increase in revenue from the airport and the resultant rise in AAI's share, the amount is expected to cross Rs. 3,00,000 crore.
AAI has earned Rs. 2,935 crore through revenue share over the last five years.
During discussions on the draft audit report between officials of the aviation ministry and CAG, the government had clarified that the bidding document-which was available to all bidders-had specified that the airport would be leased to the successful bidder at Rs. 100 per annum.
Later, in November 2006, the Supreme Court found the entire bidding process valid and transparent.
The provision on airport development fee (ADF) was part of section 22 A of the AAI Act 1994 as enacted in 2003. In fact, the apex court had examined the issue and allowed it in its order dated April 26, 2011.
"The unfounded allegation of change of bidding conditions post-bid hurts. The Hon'ble Supreme Court has examined the allegation and found it to be without any merit," said a DIAL spokesperson.