The government plans to sell its residual stake in already privatized Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports as part of the ambitious Rs 2.5 lakh crore asset monetization pipeline identified to raise additional resources, sources said. Sale of Airport Authority of India’s (AAI) remaining stake in the four airports as also 13 more airports have been identified for privatization in 2021-22 fiscal, two people aware of deliberations at Empowered Committee of Secretaries last month said.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation will obtain requisite approvals for divestment of equity stake of AAI in the respective joint ventures running Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports, they said adding the issue is likely to go to the Cabinet for approval in the next few days. For the 13 AAI airports identified for privatization, the possibility of clubbing of profitable and non-profitable airports will be explored to make more attractive packages, sources said.
In the first round of airports’ privatization under the Narendra Modi government, the Adani Group bagged contracts for six airports Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati last year. The AAI, which works under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, owns and manages more than 100 airports across the country.
While in Mumbai International Airport, Adani Group holds 74 per cent stake, the remaining 26 per cent stake is with AAI. In Delhi International Airport, GMR Group holds 54 per cent, Airports Authority of India holds 26 per cent, while Fraport AG and Eraman Malaysia holds 10 per cent stake each.
AAI along with the Government of Andhra Pradesh holds 26 per cent in Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. It holds a similar stake in Bangalore International Airport along with the Karnataka Government. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the 2021-22 Budget speech had said that monetizing operating public infrastructure assets is a very important financing option for new infrastructure construction.
A National Monetization Pipeline of potential brownfield infrastructure assets will be launched and an asset monetization dashboard will also be created for tracking the progress and to provide visibility to investors, she had said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month said the government is targeting monetizing 100 assets such as oil and gas pipelines, which can draw a massive Rs 2.5 lakh crore of investment.
The government is targeting Rs 1.75 lakh crore from divestment proceeds in the next fiscal year beginning April 1.