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Budget 2018: Rs 44.6 bn allocated for buying two aircraft for VVIP ops

the allocation for regional air connectivity scheme or UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) has been steeply increased to Rs 10.14 billion for the next fiscal

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Aviation Sector, Airlines

Civil aviation ministry will receive an increased budgetary allocation of Rs 66.02 billion in the next financial year, with a significant chunk kept aside for the purchase of "two new aircraft" to be used for VVIP flights.

The allocation is nearly three times higher than the amount of Rs 27.10 billion allocated to the ministry for this fiscal.

In the for 2018-19 presented today, an allocation of Rs 66.02 billion has been made for the ministry.

Out of the total amount, Rs 44.69 billion would be for "purchase of two new aircraft for special extra section flight operations", as per a document.

The two new planes -- Boeing 777-300 ER -- would be used for VVIP operations.

Besides, the allocation for regional air connectivity scheme or UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) has been steeply increased to Rs 10.14 billion for the next fiscal. The same was at Rs 200.11 crore for the current financial year (2017- 18).

Debt-laden Air India, for which the government has started the process of disinvestment, would receive a budgetary support of Rs 650 crore under the turnaround plan in 2018-19.

This is a significant decline from Rs 18 billion allocated for the current fiscal.

As per the document, an amount of Rs 5.06 billion is to come for Air India in the next fiscal by way of IEBR (Internal and Extra Budgetary Resources).

IEBR refers to a company raising funds through internal resources and external borrowings.

In the case of Airports Authority of India (AAI), the budgetary allocation has been slashed to Rs 733.1 million from Rs 1.49 billion in 2017-18.

AAI is to mop up Rs 40.86 billion by way of IEBR.

The document said that Grants-in-Aid is extended to AAI "as reimbursement of expenditure already done by them on the existing projects. The funds are provided for Pakyong airport".

Among others, Rs 500 million has been allocated for Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udaan Academy and National Aviation University.

In 2018-19, both Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) would receive slightly higher allocation of Rs 2.1 billion and Rs 700 million, respectively.

Helicopter services provider Pawan Hans is to raise Rs 90 million through IEBR in next fiscal, according to the document.

"We propose to expand our airport capacity more than five times to handle a billion trips a year under a new initiative - NABH (NextGen Airports for Bharat) Nirman. Balance sheet of AAI shall be leveraged to raise more resources for funding this expansion," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget speech.

First Published: Thu, February 01 2018. 17:53 IST