New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha Secretariat is understood to have sought the Law Ministry's views on whether it could take up amendments to a rule relating to charging of airport development fee after the mandatory 30-day period for carrying out these changes is over.
The matter relates to amending the Airports Authority of India (Major Airports) Development Fee Rules, 2011, which authorise private-led airport operators to charge DF after an order passed by the regulator, Airports Economic Regulatory
Authority (AERA).
The issue came up after a scheduled discussion on a Statutory Motion was not allowed to be held in Rajya Sabha on Friday with Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan saying it cannot be taken up as any amendment of rules should be debated and decided within 30 days and that deadline had elapsed by a day.
But CPI(M) MP K N Balagopal, who had moved the motion along with BJP's S S Ahluwalia, blamed the government for the delay in listing the matter on the agenda saying the motion was moved first during the Monsoon Session and then again in this Session, way before the 30-day deadline.
He also shot off a letter to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari blaming the government for delaying the motion and crossing the laid-down time limit and urging him to protect the legislative powers of Parliament.
Following this, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has sought the opinion of the Law Ministry on the matter, sources said.
"I doubt there is a conspiracy behind this attitude of the government to protect the interests of those who collected Rs 1,481 crore (worth of DF) illegally and further, it intends to give illegal benefits to companies which are part of the PPP model of development of airports," he said.