Individuals can apply for shares in Kannur airport: Minister

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 26 : Larsen & Toubro Tuesday signed a contract with Kannur International Airport (KIAL) to construct runway and airside at the Kannur airport, scheduled to open Dec 31, 2015.

The contract for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work was awarded to L&T Nov 5.

Ports Minister K. Babu, who also handles the aviation portfolio, told reporters here that 49 percent of the Rs.1,000 crore authorised share capital of KIAL has been kept aside for individuals, who can now apply for buying shares.

"During the regime of the previous Left government, they decided the value of one share at Rs.200,100, but we have reduced that to Rs.50,000," Babu said.

"More than 6,000 people had then applied, of which 4,000 people showed interest. Now that the work has begun, we expect that more people will now apply for shares," Babu told reporters after the signing ceremony.

Babu said investing in airports in the state has proved to be successful, as in the case of the country's first airport under the public-private partnership (PPP) model, Cochin International Airport.

"All those who have purchased shares at the time when it was opened in the mid-90s, by now have recovered their investment by way of dividends that has been paid out till now," Babu said.

"Even the state government has recovered its investment."

The equity of the airport includes 26 percent for the state government, 23 percent has been given to state and central public sector units, two percent to INKEL (Infrastructures Kerala Limited, a Kerala government company) and the remaining 49 percent would be for individuals.

Airport managing director G. Chandramouli said those individuals who wished to subscribe to the shares can log on to the and inform their interest.

The Kannur airport is coming up in an area of around 2,000 acres and is expected to cost Rs.1,800 crore.

"By September 2015, we expect to have the trial run of the airport and latest by Dec 31, 2015, the airport would be opened for service," said Babu.

Kerala today has three international airports at Kozhikode, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

--IANS (Posted on 26-11-2013)

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