Published On: Thu, Mar 17th, 2016

Govt removes AAI Chairman R K Srivastava

Hyderabad,: In a sudden move, Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman R K Srivastava was today removed from the post by the government, nearly 15 months after he was brought at the helm for a five-year term.

AAI Chairman R K Srivastava was today removed.

AAI Chairman R K Srivastava was today removed.

A 1984-batch Jharkhand-cadre IAS officer, 58-year-old Ravindra Kumar Srivastava had taken charge in January last year.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma confirmed the move to replace the AAI Chairman.

Sharma told PTI from Gorakhpur (UP) that the government will find a suitable replacement for Srivastava soon.

However, Sharma did not give the reason for the decision to remove Srivastava.

The move to replace Sharma comes at a time when AAI has sought documents from its joint venture partners — GMR and GVK — for a CAG audit of the books of accounts of the Delh and Mumbai airports.

This is not the first time that an AAI Chairman has been shown the door. In January 2014, the then UPA government had abruptly removed V P Agarwal.

Sources said Arun Kumar, who is presently Joint Secretary for airports in the Civil Aviation Ministry, is likely to be given the additional charge of AAI Chairman.

According to sources, Srivastava is likely to be sent back to his parent cadre.

Srivastava took charge on January 2, 2015 and his appointment was announced by the government in December 2014.

His tenure was for five years.

AAI manages 125 airports, including 18 international aerodromes, 78 domestic ones and and 26 civil enclaves at defence airfields. It also provides air navigation services.

Set up under an Act of Parliament, AAI came into being in April 1995 by merging erstwhile National Airports Authority and International Airports Authority of India.

AAI which holds 26 per cent stake each in the two joint venture companies –DIAL and MIAL — has invoked its right under a particular clause of the Operations, Management and Development Agreement (OMDA) while asking the public accounts watchdog Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to audit the books of accounts of the two companies.

“AAI has appointed CAG as its representative to scrutinise the books of accounts of Delhi International Airport (DIAL) and Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) to ensure that due government share is accruing to AAI,” Sharma had informed the Lok Sabha last month.

While DIAL is a 74:26 JV between AAI and a GMR-led consortium, MIAL is a 74:26 JV between AAI and GVK-led consortium.

The AAI ceded control of both Delhi and Mumbai airports to DIAL and MIAL under a public-private partnership agreement in 2006.

Under the public-partnership agreement, DIAL has to share 45.99 per cent of its revenue with AAI every year, while MIAL shares 38.7 per cent.

“DIAL and MIAL have expressed their reservation that the right of CAG to conduct audit are limited to the accounts of the Union and the State and of any other authority or body as may be prescribed by or under any law and so they can’t carry on revenue audit of DIAL and MIAL,” Sharma had said.


About the Author