After troubles in the Maldives, GMR, which is the largest stake holder in a venture that runs the Delhi airport, could be on a collision course with its consortium partner the Airports Authority of India (AAI) on the issue of sharing revenues.
AAI has raised the issue of Delhi International Airport Ltd or DIAL, the consortium that runs the airport, not sharing the interest charged on Air India’s dues. The state-owned airport operator has raised the issue with an oversight committee — the OMDA Implementation Oversight Committee (OIOC).
“Our internal audit found that DIAL has not shared the interest they charge on AI dues on the grounds that the airport company had to borrow money from the market to fund their working capital requirements, which otherwise would have come from Air India. We have raised this issue and if we come across any earlier instance of them not paying us our share from the interest earned, they will have to give that money to us with interest,” said a senior AAI official.
When contacted, GMR did not comment on this story. According to the operations, maintenance and development agreement (OMDA) — the agreement between AAI and DIAL on running the airport — DIAL is to share 45.66 per cent of its total revenues with AAI and interest charged on dues is considered as revenues.
“According to the principles of the agreement, the interest charged on dues should be shared with us our demand is within that. The Mumbai airport is paying us our share on the interest charged timely, in fact, they are paying us on a monthly basis,” said another AAI official without commenting on the amount that DIAL has to pay.
Air India has reportedly not paid to GMR for the last two years and owes over Rs 550 crore to DIAL, which charges an average interest rate of 15 per cent on the dues. In the past, DIAL has raised the issue of AI’s non-payment and convincing the government to ask AAI to advance a loan to DIAL.
AAI, however, declined to give any loans to DIAL primarily because they need money to fund their expansion plans. DIAL, in April, had also said that they will have to close the airport in two months, if Air India and Kingfisher did not clear their dues. Kingfisher and Air India were estimated to jointly owe about Rs 525 crore to DIAL then.