Who allowed Kingfisher Airlines to accumulate dues: Par Paenl asks AAI

A Parliamentary panel has asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to fix the responsibility of officers who allowed now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines to accumulate Rs 294.69 crore of dues.

The money owed by Kingfisher Airlines is part of total dues of Rs 4,579.57 crore from various entities, including airlines, at the end of December last year.

Kingfisher Airlines, promoted by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, ran out operations in 2012 following financial difficulties. Mallya, who left India in last March and settled in the United Kingdom, is wanted in India in cases of loan default and money laundering.

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Analysing the functioning of AAI, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture said it was concerned about the huge amount of outstanding dues of AAI for a long time.

The panel minced no words in criticising AAI for “allowing the accumulation of dues (by Kingfisher Airlines) to such a high level in violation of all the existing rules and procedures in practice”.

It asked the AAI to be “cautious in future” to ensure that no individual stakeholder or airlines is accumulating “such high levels of dues”.

“The Committee also recommends that AAI may conduct an internal inquiry (i) to fix the responsibility of AAI officials for the accumulation of dues by Kingfisher Airlines and (ii) to strengthen the systems and procedures to prevent the recurrence of accumulation of dues,” the panel said in its report on Demands for Grants (2017-18) for Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The AAI has filed a legal suit against Kingfisher Airlines to recover its dues.

Of the Rs 4,579.57 crore, Rs 2,905.70 crore is part of traffic dues. Air India owes Rs 2,299.55 crore in traffic dues and Rs 229.89 crore in non-traffic dues while foreign airlines ow Rs 246.53 crore and Rs 11.73 crore respectively.

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