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Delhi airport wants to increase passenger security fee to clear CISF dues

DIAL says while its collection in last 10 years has increased by 171%, its expenditure has also gone up by 706%. The airport operator owes CISF up to Rs 655 crore for providing and says passenger security fee should be increased by Rs 100 - Rs 150 to clear the dues.

delhi Updated: Aug 08, 2017 07:54 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Delhi airport,DIAL
The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), which operates the capital’s airport, has said that there is need to increase the passenger security fee (PSF) as they are unable to carry on day to day security related operations. (HT FILE)

If Delhi airport has its way, outgoing passengers will have to pay more for security at the capital’s airport.

The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), which operates the capital’s airport, has said that there is need to increase the passenger security fee (PSF) as they are unable to carry on day to day security related operations such as replacement or repair of security equipment.

“There is severe shortage of funds and if the deficit continues to build up like this, we will not be able to meet even the mandatory expenditure to maintain security at the airport,” DIAL said in a letter to the ministry of civil aviation. Currently, every departing passenger pays Rs 200 as security fee which DIAL wants to increase. As per rough estimates, PSF needs to be increased to Rs 300 to prevent further piling up of dues and to Rs 350 if past dues have to be cleared. The fee should also be increased by Rs 20 every year.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which provides security at the airport, recently wrote to the civil aviation ministry seeking its intervention in release of mounting dues from DIAL. The Delhi airport owes CISF Rs 655.40 crore for the services of the security force. In response to CISF’s plea, DIAL blamed low security fee and lack of fee revision. “DIAL is working in fiduciary capacity on behalf of government and utilising the funds as per the directions given by government authorities from time to time. It is unfair that DIAL is being projected as responsible for non-payment or delayed payment. The fact of the matter is that airport security is a sovereign function reserved for Government of India, hence it is the primary responsibility of ministry of civil aviation to ensure payment of dues to CISF,” DIAL said.

With DIAL unwilling to take responsibility, CISF has nowhere to go. Although, the salary of CISF staff is not affected by this, but it causes loss to the government. The cost of deployment of CISF personnel is borne by the respective installation and is paid to a consolidated fund of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) under which the CISF functions.

“The escalating outstanding dues are a matter of grave concern. It also attracts adverse comments from statutory bodies including CAG, Parliamentary Standing Committee relating to Home Affairs etc,” said CISF DG OP Singh in a letter to the ministry.

Meanwhile, DIAL’s deficits seem to be mounting over the years. DIAL has projected its income to be Rs 363.65 crore in 2017-18, Rs 392.40 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 421.94 crore in 2019-20 and the expenditure during the corresponding period is expected be Rs 424.55 crore, Rs 460.76 crore and Rs 495.72 crore. An additional Rs 150 crore is also required every year for service tax and loan interest.

Sources said the airport operator made regular payments to the CISF till September 2012, but began to falter after that. DIAL collects Rs 22-24 crore as passenger security fee (PSF) every year. Out of the PSF of Rs 200 collected from each departing passenger, Rs 130 is collected towards security component while Rs 70 is collected as facilitation charge. In 2016-17, DIAL collected Rs 382 crore from passengers but paid Rs 204 crore to CISF claiming that the rest of the amount was paid as loan interest, service tax and administrative charges.

From 9.43 million passengers departing from Delhi airport in 2006-07 the number has increased to 16.31 million in 2014-15. In 2016, Delhi airport handled 55.65 million passengers of which about 50 per cent were departing. DIAL has claimed that collection in last 10 years has increased by 171.32 per cent but the corresponding expenditure has also gone up by 706.68 per cent.

Over 4,000 CISF personnel are posted at Delhi airport and there is a proposal to increase the manpower further considering the sensitivity of the installation.

First Published: Aug 07, 2017 13:42 IST