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CBI calls for DIAL papers in alleged airport scam

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New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) Probing further into the alleged financial irregularities involving the GMR Group-led Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has asked the Civil Aviation Ministry to provide the complete file related to the company at the "earliest".

The investigating agency has also called for the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report on the privatisation of Delhi airport .

In its letter dated May 3, 2019, accessed by IANS, the CBI has said that it had become necessary to obtain the records and documents related to the airport operator in the Supreme Court-monitored investigation.

"The CBI has asked for complete file of operation, management and development agreement (OMDA) between Airports Authority of India (AAI) and GMR since beginning to till date," a person aware of the development said.

Response is awaited to an IANS email query to DIAL on the matter.

The previous UPA government had, in 2006, awarded the contract to the GMR Group-led consortium for operation, management and development of the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The initial term of the concession is 30 years extendable by a further 30 years.

Delhi International Airport (DIAL) is a joint venture of the GMR Group (64 per cent), Airports Authority of India (26 per cent) and Fraport (10 per cent).

As part of the agreement, the private firm was allowed to commercially exploit around 240 acres out of the 4,600 acres of airport land in Delhi.

While the Delhi airport project is counted among the successful public-private partnership (PPP) stories, it has had, at the same time, its own share of controversies.

It has been alleged that the airport company floated almost a dozen joint venture firms to lower its share of revenue to government-owned AAI. As per the concession agreement, DIAL is required to share 46 per cent of its total revenue with AAI.

The airport operator has, however, defended its decision to form JV firms maintaining that the same is allowed under the terms of the concession agreement.

DIAL had also come under question for cost overruns. The total capex for the airport makeover escalated to Rs 12,502 crore, amounting to Rs 3,527 crore more than the initially estimated Rs 8,975 crore.

 

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