Our Bureau

New Delhi, Feb. 16

THE empowered Group of Ministers (e-GoM), which is to firm up the request for proposals (RFP) for modernisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports is to meet in the next day or two, the Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr Praful Patel, said here on Wednesday.

"The meeting will be called again in a day or two. The project is on track," Mr Patel told newspersons on the sidelines of the `Airport build and supply conference and exhibition.'

The four-member e-GoM met here on Tuesday but the meeting remained inconclusive as two senior Ministers had other important engagements. While one of them was held up at an official meeting, the other had to leave to keep an appointment with a visiting foreign dignitary.

The four-member e-GoM is headed by the Defence Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, and includes the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, the Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Kamal Nath, and the Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Praful Patel.

Government officials categorically said there was no difference of opinion between the various Ministers on any issue.

"There is no issue on foreign direct investment (FDI) or any other contentious issue among the Ministers. The RFP document could not be cleared because of lack of time," a senior Government official said.

The Government has already short listed nine entities including Reliance, GMR, DLF, Bharti and L&T as successful bidders for participating in the process for modernisation of the two metro airports.

The Minister for Civil Aviation had said at the recently concluded international air show in Bangalore that the joint venture partner for modernisation and restructuring of the two airports would be finalised this year itself.

Meanwhile, the Government is to shortly hold bilateral air services talks with France, Germany, Hong Kong and mainland China, Mr Patel told newspersons.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 17, 2005)
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