The Civil Aviation Ministry witnessed a significant decline in its allocation in Budget 2023-24 presented on Wednesday.
The Budget allocated Rs 3,113.36 crore to the ministry, against Rs 10,667 crore in 2022-23, which was later revised to Rs 9,363.70 crore.
The Budget documents showed that the major reduction is mainly due to lower money allocation for AI Asset Holding Ltd (AIAHL), a special purpose vehicle formed by the government and that holds various assets of national carrier Air India.
The Budget announced on Wednesday has allocated Rs 1,114.49 crore for AIAHL under the public sector undertakings segment. In the Budget for 2022-23, AIAHL was initially allocated Rs 9,259.91 crore, which was later revised to Rs 7,200 crore and the provision is kept for servicing of loan transferred to SPV as a result of financial restructuring of Air India.
On the other hand, the latest budget has hiked the amount for regional air connectivity to Rs 1,244.07 crore for the next financial year starting April 1. The proposal is for revival of 22 airports and for commencement of 100 RCS routes, and viability gap funding for northeast connectivity. To improve connectivity in the NE Region, a new scheme has also been formulated for providing air connectivity and aviation infrastructure.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech announced that 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes and advance landing grounds will be revived for improving regional air connectivity.
Aviation regulator DGCA has got Rs 309 crore in this Budget and the provision is for meeting the establishment expenditure of the Director General of Civil Aviation and its regional and field offices. It provides for Training Projects, eGCA Project, construction of DGCA Bhawan. It also includes provision for India's contribution to the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
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