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Hike in user fee perplexing

Hike in user fee perplexingHike in user fee perplexing
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Bengaluru's International Airport has recently witnessed drastic rise in User Development Fee (UDF) for both domestic and international users. The UDF ...

Bengaluru's International Airport has recently witnessed drastic rise in User Development Fee (UDF) for both domestic and international users. The UDF fee increase by whopping 120% has been levied in the guise of capital requirement necessary for the airport's expansion. Passengers are now left with no option to shell the exorbitant UDF fee without being at fault and the fee ironically also forms as an equivalent amount of one-way taxi fare to the airport!

Due to this development one fails to understand that why an airport has to be developed at the cost of travellers? As also the aviation industry is already witnessing declining growth owing to mounting losses of some of the popular domestic airline carriers. As such fares for domestic passenger routes is already skewed to levy more fare from the travellers that also includes taxes and GST components apart from the UDF fee.

One fails to understand as to why the policy makers are reluctant to capitalise on innovative funding requirements in the form of IPOs and other sources. The financial packages offered by some of the financial institutions towards infratuructural development are widely available in the market apart from sage advice rendered by experts/pundits.

The policy makers should realise that infrastructural projects like Airport development as public amenity should not always be relied on tax payers in the guise of travellers UDF component. The competent authorities like AERA, AAI and DGCA should now be mobilize funding through various innovative channels to meet the financial requirements that warrants the infrastructural demand.

-Varun S D, Bengaluru

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