GHIAL empowered to levy user charges: Minister

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Hyderabad, Sep 6 (UNI) Justifying the levy of User Development Fee (UDF) on passengers by the GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), Andhra Pradesh Airports Minister M Venkata Ramana Rao today informed the state Assembly that the GHIAL was incurring a loss of Rs 12 crore per month following drop in the number of flights to the new International airport.

The levy of UDF of Rs 1000 on international air passengers and Rs 375 on domestic passengers was necessary due to GHIAL incurring a loss of Rs 36 crore in a quarter following reduction in air traffic to an average 208 flights, against 238 flights in the Begumpet airport earlier, he said, replying to a Question from Mr E Pratap Reddy and other Congress members.

The number of international passengers declined by 1500 and domestic passengers by 12500, he added.

On Mr Reddy's supplementary that the GHIAL could levy UDF only after 2011, the Minister clarified that as per clause 10.1 of the Concessional agreement, GHIAL had a right to impose charges, including UDF.

As per clause 10(2.1) of the Concessional Agreement, GHIAL was allowed to levy UDF both on domestic and international passengers with effect from the Airport opening date, duly changing it in the subsequent year with inflation index, for provision of passenger amenities, services and facilities, he added.

Turning down suggestions from members that the GHIAL could sell part of the over 10,000 acres of land given to it by the State Government to offset the losses and spare the passengers of User charges, the Minister said the company was not within its right to sell any land to offset the losses.

UNI SM VA VV RR AS1715

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