New Delhi (India), January 21 (ANI): The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Thursday refuted a news article claiming that the Finance Ministry and NITI Aayog had raised 'red flags' before Adani's clean sweep of six airports as 'factually incorrect', adding that the bidding process was conducted in a competitive and transparent manner.
According to an official release, a news article dated January 15, 2021, which said that the Ministry of Finance and NITI Aayog had raised objections before Adani's purchase of the airports over the 2019 Public-Private Partnership (PPP) bidding process and the same was ignored by the government.
The ministry said that the bidding process was conducted in a competitive and transparent manner through e-tendering portal of the Indian government, in which 25 firms across the globe had registered and a total of 86 registrations were received in the portal for six airports.
Out of these registrations, 32 bids were received from 10 different entities for 6 airports. As the bid process was completed transparently, none of the participating entities raised any objection to the bidding process, said the ministry.
"It may also be noted that during the bid processing stage the entity which would be successful was not known to anybody. The bid parameter stipulated in the tender document was 'per passenger fee' quoted by the bidder and the entity whose bid is highest in terms of per passenger fee quoted would be declared as successful bidder," it said.
After the opening of the financial bid, it was revealed that the quote of Adani Enterprises Limited was the highest in all six airports.
The MoCA further asserted that the Ministry of Finance and NITI Aayog had already deliberated and finalised the contours of the bidding process in the Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGOS) and Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC).
"Therefore the statement that the views of Ministry of Finance and NITI Aayog were ignored is factually incorrect and based on assumption, as the views of Ministry and Finance and NITI Aayog on various aspects of the proposal are part of the established procedure of PPPAC to ensure that all the aspects are examined before the proposal is placed before PPPAC for decision and same cannot be considered as overruled," said the ministry.
According to the release, EGOS decided not to stipulate prior airport experience as a mandatory qualification to increase competition and avoid monopoly by those players having Airport experience, who would have an edge over others.
With regard to the acquisition of stake in the Mumbai airport Adani Enterprises and a subsequent extension request from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for taking over the three Airports in Ahmadabad, Lucknow and Mangalore, the ministry said both the transactions are independent of each other.
"In view of above the newspaper article is suppressio veri and suggestio falsi," concluded the release. (ANI)