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AAI to raise Rs 1,200 crore
 NEW DELHI, Jan 17 (PTI): Battling a resource crunch, the Airports Authority of India is in the process of raising Rs 1,200 crore by the end of this financial year to meet its financial requirements for developing airports across the country.

While its proposal to raise Rs 5,000 crore through tax- free infrastructure bonds has not found favour with the government, the state-owned airports operator plans to borrow Rs 2,000 crore to meet its requirements for funds, official sources said.

Till last September, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had raised short-term loans amounting to Rs 380 crore, they said, adding that Rs 1,200 crore more will be raised by March-end.

Though the AAI manages about 125 airports across the country, only 15 of them have been making profits, they said, adding that major domestic airlines owed Rs 277.55 crore as user charges to the AAI till October 2009.

In a changing global economic scenario, the sources said the AAI cannot avoid the effects of the slowdown and has had to go in for cost-cutting measures and review of its planned projects without compromising on quality. It has also deferred some “non-essential works and projects”.

The AAI’s post-tax profit came down drastically from Rs 1,082 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 687 crore in 2008-09 as its capital expenditure increased from Rs 1980.23 crore to Rs 2,547.52 crore during the same period.