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Cannot interfere in AERA decision: Ajit Singh

New Delhi: The Civil Aviation Ministry today sought to wash its hand off the AERA`s decision to raise airport charges at Delhi Airport by a whopping 346 per cent for two years, saying it had little to do with the move.

"The ministry cannot intervene in this," Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told reporters outside Parliament, adding, "there is a judicial authority…(the fare) was raised after talking to everyone".

The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) on Wednesday decided to raise landing, parking and other charges by a whopping 346 per cent for two years, a move that would raise air travel costs from the Airport.

Singh said the hike was to be made in 2009 but now that it has been hiked they will recover the charges of the last five years in the next two years. He said the authority had decided for the hike back in 2006.

In its latest order, AERA also fixed higher rates of user development fees (UDF) for both incoming and outgoing domestic and international passengers this year, with the rates going up further from April next year. The new charged would be applicable May 15 onwards. Asked about the issue of allowing foreign airlines to invest in Indian carriers, he said, "Discussion is going on…it will come after talking to all allies".

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