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The latest news in ‘Business Line’ today indicate that the proposed privatisation of Chennai, Kolkata and other 4 airports will be delayed. As per the report, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), has extended the dates for shortlisting the companies who have offered for taking over the airports. About nine companies, including foreign companies, have shown interest in the project for Chennai.
The decision to delay shortlisting can be well understood. There has been strong opposition from the Airports Authority Unions against the privatisation. Now the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transports chaired by Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) M.P., has unanimously opposed to the privatisation of these profit-making airports, after modernisation has been done by the Airports Authority of India, a PSU, at great costs. The Standing Committee also has pointed out the case of Delhi Airport, after it was privatised, that the departure and arrival charges being collected from the passengers have gone sky-high.
The airport privatisation will result in more charges on the passengers and maximum profit for the private companies. The UPA government is in an aggressive mood to privatise all the PSUs to the extend possible and destroy the PSUs which have benefited in the growth of the country.
Strong protests should come from from all unions and progressive forces against this cheap selling of the nation’s properties. We have to fully support the unions in the AAI, who are fighting against the privatisation.