Delhi HC tells central government atmanirbhar is a ‘hypocrisy’

by amolwarankar
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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court slammed the central government and termed the slogans of Make in India and Self-Reliant India as its hypocrisy. The High Court had made this scathing remark after the central government had made changes in eligibility to avail tenders of ‘ground handling operations in regional airports’. The changes would oust small entities from participating in ground handling operations in regional airports.

“What really irks is that if you really want to oust these people (small entities), then say so. Don’t be hypocritical in your speeches. Your political leadership speaks of make in India, they speak of atmanirbhar bharat, they speak about encouraging local industry, but your actions don’t match your words. You are being completely hypocritical,” a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar.

The tender eligibility criteria includes a company should have an annual turnover of over Rs 35 crore and experience of having worked with scheduled airlines. The high court on this said,”You want big players with big pockets, and maybe foreign tie-ups, to come in”.

The bench asked Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Centre and Airport Authority of India ( CAPSR), to speak to the political leadership. If they want to carry on in this manner then why are they making the speeches on make in India. “Are they (political leadership) even aware of this being done,” the bench asked.

The High Court bench was hearing a petition filed by the Center for Aviation Policy, Safety and Research. The bench has issued notices to the Center and AAI seeking answers and also directed that the validity of allotment of tenders would depend on the decision on the disposal of the petition. CAPSR in its plea has asked to quash the tenders floated by AAI with regard to GHS at smaller airports in the country or directions to AAI to alter the eligibility criteria so that everyone, including the existing ground handling agencies, can participate.

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