Saturday, Jul 13, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
"Our first idea was to give the four metro airports on long-term lease to private parties. But the Law Ministry advised us to go in for joint ventures with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) as the partner (on behalf of the Government),'' Mr. Hussain told mediapersons on the sidelines of an aviation symposium here.
He said the percentage of AAI's stake in the joint ventures would be decided later, but the process of privatisation would be completed by the end of this fiscal. Expressions of Interest (EoI) had already been received from various private companies for the airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
He said a bill for privatisation of the four airports was already before Parliament.
To questions on Air India getting convenient landing slots at London's Heathrow airport, Mr. Hussain said it had to be a quid pro quo arrangement between India and Britain. ``So long as we don't get proper slots at Heathrow, we cannot give them similar rights.'' The bilateral talks on the issue were inconclusive last month.
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