The Government is considering reintroduction of airport fee at Cochin international airport. At the same time, moves are afoot to grant some sort of subsidy to Gulf Malayalees. The Centre is being pressed for extending benefits to Gulf Malayalees.
In other words, the politicians are trying to extend some concessions to the Gulf Malayalees, on one hand, while planning to take away the same on the other hand. The airport fee is touted to facilitate further development of the airport. Who would be the beneficiaries of such policies? None other than the shareholders of Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL)! (The Government only holds 26 per cent of the equity).
CIAL is trumpeted as a profit-making company. Then, why is it finding difficult to raise funds for its developmental plans? Why is it paying out dividends if the company requires funds for its future plans? Why could the company make a public offer or rights issue to raise the needed funds?
Similarly, why should Gulf Malayalees require subsidies of any kind? Are they eligible for any kind of Government subsidies as they pay no income or other taxes? Is it right to use the taxes paid by low-paid Indians to subsidise any project for the overseas Indians?
Why is the Kerala Government trying to launch an airline with NRI businessmen at a time when airlines are merging to stay afloat? Won’t this airline be used to provide some sort of indirect subsidies, which may ultimately benefit only the shareholders?
The answer to these questions could be linked to political contributions. These days, much of the political contributions are coming from the Gulf countries. Naturally, policies are being framed to suit the donors.