The civil aviation ministry is mulling some changes in the regulatory norms for the next round of airport privatisation by keeping a limit on the number of airports a participant can bid for, sources close to the development told CNBC-TV18.
The bidder may be asked to bid for a maximum of two airports in the next round of airport privatisation, the sources said. Under the second round, a total of six airports including Varanasi and Amritsar are likely to be privatised.
In the first round of airport privatisation, there was no limit on the number of airports a participant could bid for. Adani Group had emerged as the highest bidder for the six airports of Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Mangalore, Jaipur, Guwahati, and Trivandrum.
While the Union Cabinet has approved the bids for Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangalore, the concession agreement for the three airports is yet to be signed as the security clearance of Adani Group is still pending, sources aware of the development said.
“The bids for the remaining three airports of Jaipur, Guwahati and Trivandrum are likely to be cleared by the Cabinet once the legal hurdles are clear,” another person aware of the development said.
CNBC-TV18 had exclusively reported on July 25 that the government was looking to privatise more airports in the second term of Narendra Modi government, and the selection process to finalise a list of 6-10 state-run airports has started.
"The current process of privatisation of six airports is expected to fetch a one-time capital expenditure return of Rs 2,000 crore while annual income would be around Rs 900 crore,” a senior government official had said after the first round of airport privatisation.
Last November, the Union Cabinet decided to privatise six airports to increase their efficiency and quality. Soon after, the Airports Authority of India had invited bids for those airports with a lease period of 50 years. And to ensure greater participation, prior airport experience was not among the mandatory bidding criteria.
Currently, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Cochin are the major private-run airports in the country.