Budget 2023 | 50 additional airports, heliports to be revived

The Ministry of Civil Aviation sees a 70% cut in budgetary allocation with a decline in funds set aside for servicing debt related to Air India

Updated - February 02, 2023 01:05 am IST

Published - February 01, 2023 01:31 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Image for representation purpose only.

Image for representation purpose only. | Photo Credit: PTI

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed revival of fifty additional airports, heliports, waterdromes and advance landing grounds for improving regional air connectivity.

The regional connectivity scheme of the Ministry of Civil Aviation has seen a doubling of allocation since the last allocation and has risen from ₹600 crore to ₹1,244 crore. However, the total budgetary allocation for the Ministry was slashed by 70% by virtue of reduced liabilities following the privatisation of Air India. The Ministry has received a total ₹3,113 crore for financial year 2023-2024 as compared to ₹10,667 in the budgetary allocation last fiscal.

The Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL), or a special purpose vehicle of the government where all liabilities and assets related to Air India have been parked was allocated ₹9,259 last fiscal in order to service the airline’s debt moved here. This fiscal the AIAHL has only been allocated ₹1,144 crore for interest payment for non-convertible debentures.

While heliports and waterdromes have received attention under the regional connectivity scheme launched in 2017, so far only nine heliports and two waterdromes have come up and not all of them are operational. 

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