AP Govt to take up user charges issue with Centre

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Hyderabad, Sep 6 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Airports Minister M Venkata Ramana Rao today assured the State Assembly that he would take up the issue of user charges levied on air passengers by the GMR group with the Centre, when the members, cutting across partylines, strongly objected to the charges levied on air passengers, including the Haj pilgrims.

Replying a set of questions from E Pratap Reddy and other Congress members, the Minister said the GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) levied the user charges as per the concessional agreement signed with the Union Civil Aviation Ministry. He turned down the demand for a House Committee probe into the issue.

Members cutting across partylines were on their feet, objecting to the charging of Rs 1000 from the international air passengers and Rs 375 from the domestic passengers by the airport authorities.

The House plunged into pandemonium for sometime during the Question Hour, as members of the All India Majilis-E-Itihadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) rushed to the Speaker's podium, protesting against delay in reconstruction of a demolished masjid in the airport premises and demanding exemption of user charges for the Haj pilgrims.

Legislative Affairs Minister K Rosaiah promised the agitated members the reconstruction of the Masjid and said the state would take up with the Union Civil Aviation Ministry the withdrawal of the user charges.

UNI SM MDG SBC AS1747

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