The government has moved to scrap the airport development fee (ADF) for the privatized airports of New Delhi and Mumbai from 2013. No doubt it will give some relief to the growing number of passengers using the vastly improved facilities at both airports. At the same time, it raises a larger question on government policy and the confusion created by such flip flops.
Especially, since the immediate trigger for a rethink on ADF came after a censure by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its recent report.
The rethink is a tacit admission that the government was wrong to have allowed ADF in the first place. Well, what is bad now could not have been good earlier.
Clarity and stability of policy is a prerequisite for any developer, private or government, especially in big-ticket infrastructure projects. So the rethink signals exactly the opposite of what was intended.