AAI seeks waiver of mandatory annual dividend payment for fiscal year 2021-22

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has requested the government to waive the mandatory dividend payment requirement for the financial year ending March 2022, in lieu of the Air India dues waiver made before the sale of the carrier.

State-owned AAI, which has been in the red mainly after the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to post a loss of Rs 800-900 crore in the 2021-22 financial year.

AAI President Sanjeev Kumar said he had recovered “good ground” and should pare the loss in the past fiscal year. Financial results for 2021-22 will be finalized in the coming months.

According to him, AAI had settled Air India dues worth around Rs 2,000 crore while it was government owned. Under the settlement, 50% of the total contributions were waived.

An amount of Rs 1,000 crore was received by AAI as part of the settlement. Air India was acquired by Tatas in the last financial year.

“AAI, instead of waiving the Air India dues, has requested the government to waive the mandatory dividend which must be paid annually. DIPAM (Department of Investment and Public Asset Management) has given us approval in principle of the proposal,” Kumar told PTI in an interview.

Under current standards, AAI must pay an annual dividend of 5% of its net worth or 30% of its annual earnings, whichever is greater.

Since the public entity will be in the red, it will have to pay an amount equivalent to 5% of the net worth of the last financial year. AAI asked the government to waive this dividend amount in lieu of Air India’s contribution exemption when it was government owned.

In 2019-20, which was also when AAI posted an annual loss for the first time since its inception, it had paid a dividend of Rs 671.70 crore to the government.

AAI has recovered from “good ground” and should reduce its loss in 2021-22. “We expect to report a loss of Rs 800-900 crore in the financial year 2021-22. The financial results will be finalized in the coming months,” Kumar said.

For the financial year ended March 2021, AAI had reported a loss of Rs 1,962.06 crore, while the total revenue stood at Rs 4,867.04 crore. It made an after-tax profit of Rs 1,985.09 crore on a total income of Rs 12,837.44 crore in 2019-20.

Kumar said that for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, AAI expects to “achieve at least 80% of the pre-COVID level in terms of financial performance.”

AAI manages 137 airports, including 80 domestic airports. It also provides Air Traffic Management Services (ATMS) throughout Indian airspace and adjacent ocean areas with ground facilities at all airports and 25 other locations to ensure safe flight operations, according to its website. .

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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