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Airports Authority Of India Plans Cost-Cutting Amid Losses Due To Covid-19

More than 25 percent of cost-cutting measures for the financial year 2021-2022.

NEW DELHI — Due to heavy losses reported amid the pandemic, the Airports Authority of India decided to implement cost-cutting measures, with 25 percent cost-cutting measures being undertaken for the 2021-22 financial year.

The Airports Authority of India is the largest airport operator in India. About 125 airports come under the authority, and it has managed these airports zone-wise.

Presently, the Central Headquarters of the Airport Authority of India, Northern, Eastern, Western, Southern Zones, and other regions are functional across the country.

“The pandemic has adversely impacted the finances and revenue of the Airports Authority of India for the financial year 2020-21,” said the directive of the Airports Authority of India.

“Though it was expected that there would be some improvement in the current financial year. However, due to the second wave of Covid-19, the adverse impact on finances and revenue continues. lt is expected that the Airport Authority of India will be in loss for the current fiscal year.”

Map of New Delhi

The Airports Authority of India mainly selected three areas for cost-cutting — repair and maintenance, other operating and expenditure, and administration and other expenses, which include (civil, mechanical, vehicles, furniture, electronics, water, taxi rental, maintenance charges, printing, telephone, travel expenses, and Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR expenses).

The directive of cost-cutting has been issued to the heads of all the departments.

“As per the directives of chairman of the Airports Authority of India, Sanjeev Kumar, an interactive deliberation on cost-cutting measures in respect of select heads of operating and administrative Expenditure was carried out with all the heads of departments,” read the order.

As per cost-cutting directives, currently, the funds for repairs and maintenance are INR 1,266.14 crores ($170.1 million), and the proposed fund is INR 985.81 crores ($132.4 million). Funds for other operating and expenses are INR 842 crores ($113.1 million), and the authority proposed funds after cost-cutting INR 645.75 crores ($86.7 million).

Currently, admin and other Expenses funds are INR 426.05 crores ($57.2 million), and the authority proposed INR 266.92 crores ($35.9 million), said the Airports Authority of India.

Not only cost-cutting, but the Airport Authority of India is also planning to cut the allowances and perks of over 17,000 employees due to the alleged losses amid the pandemic.

Last week, the Airports Authority of India’s Employees’ associations and unions had lodged a protest against the management over the proposed cut in perks.

“It is a complete failure of the Airport Authority of India’s management concerning a reduction in allowances/perks of employees,” said Balraj Singh Ahlawat, general secretary of the Airports Authority Employees Union.

“The union has taken up the matter in meeting with the Airport Authority of India’s management and asked why the management is not recovering dues of about INR 25,000 crore ($3,358.1 million) from airlines and private airport operators have been doing.”

Airports Authority Employees Union is a recognized multi-cadre union.

On July 6, the Joint Forum of Unions and Associations of Airports Authority of India launched a nationwide protest against the authority regarding the reduction in allowances of employees.

Meanwhile, in a letter dated July 5, signed by Airports Authority’s General Manager (HR), the management requested the unions refrain from holding lunch hour demonstrations.

“It is unfortunate to observe that the leadership of Jt Forum has served upon Airports Authority of India the notice for holding lunch hour demonstration despite holding rounds of discussions on the issue with top management of the Airports Authority of India, which are under consideration,” the letter read.

(With inputs from ANI)

(Edited by Amrita Das and Ritaban Misra. Map by Urvashi Makwana)

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