The airport recently handled wide-bodied aircraft such as Airbus 310 for the first time for Haj pilgrims

Union Minister for Power and Corporate Affairs M. Veerappa Moily said here on Sunday that the Centre may declare Mangalore Airport as international airport in October.

Mr. Moily told presspersons that the Centre would convene a meeting in Delhi on October 4 to discuss the subject of granting international status to the airport. He said that all efforts would be made to declare the airport international in October.

The airport has been classified as domestic airport with permission to handle bags and baggage. The airport recently handled wide-bodied aircraft such as Airbus 310 for the first time for Haj pilgrims.

Power tariff

To a question, Mr. Moily said the Centre announced last week the debt restructuring plan for loss-making electricity supply companies (escoms) in States. Many escoms in States were sick because of various reasons. As a result, they were not in a position to purchase power, borrow from banks, and could not generate revenue. The accumulated loss of escoms at the end of March 31, 2012, stood at Rs 2.46 lakh crore.

Mr. Moily said that it was not mandatory on the part of escoms to buy the plan. If the companies could follow the conditions laid out in the plan they could accept it. “It is a performance-linked plan and not a complete bailout as announced in 2001,” he said.

He said that States should frame their own State Electricity Distribution Responsibility Bill to enact a law for efficient management of power distribution system. It was like enacting Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act.

Later, Mr. Moily visited the camp of Haj pilgrims at the airport and wished them good luck. The Minister attended the eighth Karnataka Regional Catholic Youth Convention at Belthnagady.