Hyderabad: The civil aviation ministry plans to revisit the condition that no additional airport operations would be permitted within 150km radius of an existing airport, said K.N. Srivastava, joint secretary in the ministry.
Taking to reporters on the sidelines of an international infrastructure conference here on Wednesday, he said the Greenfield Airport Policy scheduled to be announced shortly could have scope for two airports within 150 km radius if required.
On greenfield airports, he said the ministry has learnt several lessons from the experiences of the new international airports at Hyderabad and Bangalore, and is considering a proposal to make infrastructure pertaining to airports’ connectivity a part of the airport development project.
The new airport at Hyderabad has commenced operations and the one at Bangalore is all set to begin operations, but both cities are yet to address the issue of connectivity to airports.
Admitting that infrastructure for connectivity involves investments nearly double that of airport development, Srivastava said the Union government is considering a proposal to provide up to 30% of the cost of connectivity infrastructure to the state governments as viability gap funding.
On the user development fee (UDF) for domestic passengers at new airports in the country, he said airport developers would be asked to levy modest charges. He said there could be differential UDF based on short and long hauls, and airport developers would be advised to improve their non-aeronautical revenues instead.
Srivastava said the government is currently working on a business plan to use the existing infrastructure at Begumpet airport, which was asked to cease commercial operations from 23 March. The Airports Authority of India would be allowed to open its air traffic control training academy, apart from using the airport for VIP and defence operations and non-scheduled flights, Srivastava said.
Italian firm in talks with DLF to sell luxury brand
New Delhi: Italian luxury brand Salvatore Ferragamo said it is in talks with India’s largest real estate developer DLF Ltd to form a joint venture company to sell Ferragamo products in India. A deal is expected to be announced in the next couple of days.
“We are going in the form of a joint venture taking advantage of the foreign direct investment regulations,” Leonardo Ferragamo, chief executive officer, Salvatore Ferragamo, said.
“We opened a store in Mumbai one- and-a-half years ago that has given us extremely rewarding results.”
He did not give details on the equity structure of the joint venture.
According to the FDI regulations in the Indian retail industry, the foreign joint venture partner can own up to 51% stake in the joint venture. A DLF spokesperson declined to comment on the deal. There is only one Ferragamo store in India in Mumbai, which opened in 2006. The store is through a franchisee. Shabana Hussain
SC tells Gujarat to set up Godhra probe panel
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Gujarat government to set up a special investigation team (SIT) to reinvestigate cases related to the post-Godhra riots by issuing an appropriate notification within 10 days.
“The state of Gujarat has suggested it has no objection if proper investigation is done so people’s faith in the transparency in investigations by the state is fortified,” remarked justice Arijit Pasayat who headed a three-judge bench that delivered the order.
As per the bench’s directions, the five-member SIT, which will comprise retired Central Bureau of Investigation director R.K. Raghavan, will submit its report to the court in three months. Malathi Nayak
2 offshore firms under probe for duty evasion
Mumbai:The central intelligence unit of Indian customs has launched an investigation against two offshore companies engaged in import of special purpose cargo vessels. The companies are alleged to have evaded custom duty by importing these specialized vessels under the guise of transport vessels. A special purpose vessel attracts a custom duty.
“The case is still under investigation but we have recovered Rs20 crore from one of the companies, while the board of directors of the other has consented to pay up Rs12 crore,” said a senior officer of customs who did not wish to be named. Both the companies rented out the vessels to Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) to facilitate off shore drilling and maintenance of pipelines. Khushboo Narayan
English channel NewsX plans to go on air today
New Delhi: NewsX, the 24-hour English news channel from Inx News Pvt. Ltd, will launch at 9am on Thursday, company chairperson Indrani Mukherjea said. “We are doing a soft launch tomorrow morning and within a week, we will have reached most of the country,” she added. Sruthijith KK
Third Front would form govt at Centre: Mulayam
New Delhi: Ahead of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s 19th party congress, being held in Coimbatore between 29 March and 3 April, the key item on its draft political resolution—backing a third alternative to the two national parties—is taking centrestage. Even as the CPI(M)-led four-party Left Front continues to keep the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in power at the Centre with critical outside support, the Left Front is increasingly distancing itself from the UPA due to differences over economic and foreign policy issues.
Soon after being named president of the Samajwadi Party for the third term, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said on Wednesday that the Third Front would form the next government at the Centre. “The Third Front, comprising Samajwadi Party and those led by Chandrababu Naidu and Omprakash Chautala, would become the first front in next polls and form a government at the Centre,” Yadav said at the inaugural session of a three-day party national convention in Jabalpur. Yadav’s comments came on a day when the Communist Party of India said it would join hands with his United National Progressive Alliance partner, Telugu Desam Party, in protesting the nationwide price rise. Ashish Sharma & PTI