Airport tribunal directs AERA not to implement new tariffs

A hike in airport charges has been overdue since 2001, but it would depend on the civil aviation ministry’s policies, an AERA decision and the views of key stakeholders, including the airlines and passenger associations, whose views were being sought

New Delhi: The airport tribunal has directed the sectoral regulator Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) not to implement the new tariffs for private airports till it decides the plea by them, challenging the new guidelines, reports PTI.

The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal said, however, that the AERA may pass the final order on tariffs, but it would not be implemented.

A bunch of petitions have been filed by private airport operators in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Cochin and Hyderabad, against some of the provisions of AERA’s tariff guidelines.

“It is made clear that even if any final order is passed by the respondent, AERA, the same shall not be given effect to without leave of this court,” said the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal.

The 3-member tribunal has also listed the matter on 16th, 17th and 23rd November for final hearing over the plea filed by private airport developers.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by airport operators who have challenged the terms and conditions for the Determination of Tariff or Airport Operators in the guidelines issued by the regulator on 28th February.

It also directed the respondents, including AERA, to file their written submissions within three weeks.

During the proceedings AERA assured the tribunal that the regulator would take a decision on the issue of fixation of tariffs by 31st January.

AERA is seeking the views of all airport users, including airlines, on the multi-year tariff proposals of operators—DIAL and MIAL—to hike airport charges by 500%-600%.

A hike in airport charges has been overdue since 2001, but it would depend on the civil aviation ministry’s policies, an AERA decision and the views of key stakeholders, including the airlines and passenger associations, whose views were being sought.


NSE trades gold ETFs worth record Rs636 crore on Dhanteras

A total of 24.61 lakh units of gold ETFs were traded at the NSE for a total record value of Rs636.04 crore by 8pm yesterday, nearly seven times of the daily average of Rs92 crore at the NSE last month

Mumbai: The auspicious occasion of Dhanteras Monday pushed up the trading in gold exchange traded funds (ETFs), which allow purchase and sale of the yellow metal in electronic format, with the leading bourse NSE alone clocking a record daily volume of Rs636.04 crore, reports PTI.

Yesterday’s trade value in gold ETFs was nearly seven times of the daily average of Rs92 crore at the NSE last month.

The gold ETFs track the gold prices and each unit of these ETFs is generally equivalent to one gram of gold. The 11 gold ETFs listed at the bourses on Monday appreciated in the range of 1.1% to 2.5%.

While the figures were not immediately available for the BSE, the other bourse where gold ETFs are traded, a total of 24.61 lakh units of gold ETFs were traded at the NSE for a total record value of Rs636.04 crore by 8pm.

In September, NSE recorded a daily trade value of Rs92 crore, while the average number of daily trades was 23,874.

The two bourses had extended the trading in gold ETFs till 8pm on Monday, as against a normal closing at 3.30pm, on the occasion of Dhanteras, when it is considered auspicious to buy valuables like gold.

The BSE and the NSE had also waived off the transactions charges for all trades in gold ETFs on this day to cash upon the investor demand for yellow metal on the auspicious day.

Quantum Mutual Fund’s fund manager Chirag Mehta said that the response has been pretty good for gold ETFs.

He said that gold ETFs have gained ground as an investment option and a lot of people prefer ETFs over the physical gold.


Crop comes a Cropper: Corn Job

Making fuel from ethanol based on corn consumes more energy than it produces

Remember ethanol-based fuel which was supposed to transform the lives of US consumers? The Bush administration pushed to achieve energy independence by subsidising production of alcohol from US-grown corn. Barack Obama took it even further, supported by venture capitalists. It would have made sense as a business, but scientists told policymakers that if all the upstream and downstream costs of making ethanol were included, the process consumes far more energy than it produces! Ethanol also demands large amounts of fresh water and water is a precious resource, warn some. Apparently, someday water will become more valuable than the oil that ethanol is supposed to replace.

How big has the US ethanol industry grown in a short period, based on the support of politicians and policymakers? Consumption of corn for ethanol has soared from 1.6 billion bushels in 2006 to about 4.3 billion bushels this year—an increase of almost 200% and the share of the total US corn crop utilised for the purpose has skyrocketed from 14% to 33%. Corn grown for ethanol now takes up 10% of the arable land in the US.

What has the impact of ethanol from corn been on food prices? Corn is trading at $6 translating into higher prices for food manufacturers and the cattle industry—and, in turn, for the poor. If there is a global food crisis, corn prices, thanks to diversion of corn for ethanol, would have played a role.

Can logic and reason come into play? Not when the politicians are involved. Iowa has an early primary in the US presidential elections, giving it a huge influence in selecting candidates; it has two crucial Senate seats as well. Obama needs Iowa even more than Bush. Iowa democrats are ahead 4-3 in the House, and have a tie in the Senate (1-1), so the ethanol programme prospers.

Indeed, the ethanol industry in the US may have become so big that it now can unleash an army of lobbyists to retain the subsidies and tax-breaks that various agricultural committees are recommending.




6 years ago

Thanks for the update. My question was specifically regarding your statement that ethanol production consumes more energy than it produces. Can you provide any current data or research that backs up your claim?


Vinay Joshi

In Reply to John 6 years ago


Please be abreast i'm not the author of the original article read by you.

I only responded to your comment, hence further.

The conversion of corn and other food/feed crops into ethanol by fermentation is a well-known and established technology. The ethanol yield from a large production plant is about 1 l of ethanol from 2.69 kg of corn grain.

The production of corn in the United States
requires a significant energy and dollar investment.

For example, to produce average corn yield of 8,655 kg/ha of corn using average production technology requires the expenditure of about 8.1 million kcal for the large number of inputs in the production costs, about $1000+/ha for the 8,655 kg.

To produce a liter of ethanol requires 29% more fossil energy than is produced as ethanol and costs 42c/ per l ($1.59 per gallon). – old pricing, just for ref.

The corn feedstock alone requires nearly 50% of the energy input.

To be mixed with gasoline, the 95% ethanol must be processed further and more water
removed requiring additional fossil energy inputs to achieve 99.5% pure ethanol.

The entire distillation accounts for the large quantities of fossil energy required in the fermentation/ distillation process.

About 50% of the cost of producing ethanol (subsidy 79c/ per l) in a large-production plant is for the corn feedstock itself, the next largest input is for steam.

The subsidies are mainly paid to large corporations, farmers left high & dry, hence push in corn market.

Based on current ethanol production technology and recent oil prices, ethanol costs substantially more to produce in dollars than it is worth on the market.[with subsidies.]

Clearly, without the more than $8.5 billion of federal and state government subsidies each year, U.S. ethanol production would be reduced or cease, confirming the basic fact that ethanol production is uneconomical.

An estimate is that ethanol production is adding more than $1.5+Bn to the cost of beef production.


Vinay Joshi

6 years ago

Mr. John,

The 73-27 vote may ultimately be symbolic since the White House has vowed not to repeal ethanol subsidies fully and the bill the repeal language is attached to is not expected to make it into law.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to eliminate billions of dollars in support for the U.S. ethanol industry, sending a strong message that the era of big taxpayer support for biofuels is ending.

Ending this wasteful handout would ensure taxpayers no longer subsidize the already profitable corn ethanol industry," Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg said.

The strong vote in favor of eliminating the $6 billion a year in ethanol subsidies reflects the push by both parties to rein in the government's huge deficit.

Last week, the World Bank and other international organizations called on governments to stop their ethanol subsidies because of concerns they were driving up food prices.

US takes a different stand at WTO meet & immune to same rational thinking.



6 years ago

Good morning. I was wondering if you were going to provide any evidence or links to research that back up your claims in this article. Specifically, can you provide a link to the research showing that ethanol is a net energy loss? I'm sure that you're not just passing off your opinion as fact in this article in the hopes of convincing people that ethanol is bad, but if you could actually provide some back up to your claims I would appreciate it.


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