India clears Cayman Island firm’s proposal on airports


New Delhi : The Indian government Thursday gave its approval to a proposal from a Cayman Islands-based company, Agam SPV Six Ltd, to set up new airports and upgrade existing ones in the country with foreign direct investment of up to $300 million.

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A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, gave the approval subject to the sectoral regulations notified by the civil aviation ministry.

“The special purpose vehicle (or the holding arm) should make full disclosures of its source of funds,” an official statement issued after the meeting said, adding that the project can be taken up either directly or through subsidiaries.

“The approval will result in foreign direct investment amounting to $300 million being received in the country,” the statement added.

The decision on Agam’s proposal comes just a week after the government approved a new airports policy that summarily bars any new project within a 150 km radius of existing ones. Proposals for airports within 150 km radius is to be decided on the merits of each case.

The new airports policy was necessitated by the recent strikes by the employees of the existing airports in Bangalore and Hyderabad. They protested the closure of the two airports to make way for the two greenfield projects nearby.

The new policy is also expected to influence a decision on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s request for an early clearance for an airport hub at Jewar, within 150 km of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in the capital.

Called the Taj International Airport and Aviation Hub, the $1.25 billion project is proposed by infrastructure major GMR on an area of 1,000 hectares in Gautam Buddh Nagar, some 70 km from Delhi airport.