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Monday, 20 January, 2020, 10 : 00 AM [IST]

Centre may curtail airport contracts to two per company

Private bidders vying for future airport privatisation projects are likely to be restricted to a maximum of two contracts in each round of auction, two government officials said. The proposed rules are set to be implemented before the next round of airport privatisation that the government is planning, the officials said on condition of anonymity.

“A list of projects to be bid out in the near future and the modalities of the auction will be finalized very shortly. Discussions are on in the direction of limiting award of concessions to two per developer,” said one of the officials.

The review of the rules comes after Adani Enterprises Ltd, the company controlled by billionaire Gautam Adani, snapped up all six contracts for upgrading airports in 2019 despite having no experience in running them. This, the government believes, had made it vulnerable to accusations by opposition parties of favouring a particular company.

The idea, officials explained, is to ensure that privatising civil aviation infrastructure in the fast-growing domestic market steers clear of political controversies. Although airport development concessions are awarded through a process of competitive bidding to private players, which take the investment risk of redeveloping facilities, officials concede that the government is being extra cautious because it does not want the modernisation process to be disrupted by legal challenges. (Source: Mint)

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