New Delhi, Mar 12 (PTI) The Civil Aviation Ministry is looking at possible funding from the exchequer and other options to help Delhi airport operator DIAL clear outstanding dues worth over Rs 700 crore to the CISF, according to a senior official.
Otherwise, the Passenger Service Fee (PSF) might have to be increased and “we don’t want to walk that road right now,” Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said today.
A PSF of Rs 154 is collected from each passenger flying out from the airport here.
Last week, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) had said that DIAL’s pending security fee amount is about Rs 737 crore.
The Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) operates the aerodrome in the national capital.
The CISF is the government-mandated paramilitary force that guards 59 civil airports in the country and charges a security fee in lieu of protecting these sensitive facilities against terror and sabotage threats.
To a query about the outstanding dues of DIAL, Choubey said, “as far as shortfall is concerned, the main thing to be kept in mind is that if the shortfall is to be made good, it will require some increase in PSF”.
Asserting that it does not want to “walk that road right now”, he said the ministry is working on various options.
“We are working on different options and one such option is that the security should be a sovereign function funded significantly and substantially from the exchequer. So we are working on those options and we will take it forward but security will not be compromised,” he added.
On whether the CISF might soon “look into” the accounts of the DIAL, Choubey said the force cannot directly audit.
“We will be getting all the inputs and we will be passing it on to them. Of course, that is already subject to CAG audit,” he added.
When asked whether the issue of outstanding dues towards security is only with Delhi airport, Choubey replied in the negative.
“Particularly, the problem is far bigger with smaller airports. The security expenditure for smaller airports is disproportionately more than the collections they get by way of PSF from passengers,” he noted.
Delhi airport is the busiest in the country.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.