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Aviation ministry rapped on MIAL.

THE civil aviation ministry has been indicted by a key parliamentary committee for allowing the GVK Group, which runs the Mumbai airport, to make highly irregular withdrawals from an escrow account meant for fees collected from passengers to pay for security provided by the Central Industrial Security Force.

" The ministry instead of coming down on the errant airport operator with a heavy hand has given it a long rope by remaining content with issuing advisories which have not been enforced," the Committee on Public Undertakings ( Copu) said in a report tabled in Parliament on Monday.

Copu, after examining the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India ( CAG) on the issue, said that the Mumbai International Airport Ltd ( MIAL) should be squarely blamed for the highly irregular withdrawals through deliberate misrepresentation of the law, rules and regulations and basic facts from an escrow account which it was operating in fiduciary capacity.

The account is meant for airport operators to deposit passenger service fees ( PSF), collected from passengers for payment to the CISF, which provides security at airports. The remaining amount, if any, is to be transferred to the state- run Airports Authority of India ( I) under the agreement signed with the government.

Copu also found it highly intriguing that though an audit of the account was carried out in 2009, no significant observations were made by the auditors regarding the manner of utilisation of the funds in it. MIAL has used all sorts of excuses to continue with the unauthorised withdrawals and justify them in contravention of all rules and regulations, the report states.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Feb 11, 2014
Words:281
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