Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced that 12 airports in the country will be auctioned under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

She also announced that the restrictions on the country’s air space will be reduced.

The announcement was made by Sitharaman on the fourth day of the five-day announcements regarding the Rs20tn ($265.3bn) economic stimulus.

In the first round of bidding, The Airport Authority of India (AAI) awarded three of the first six airports for operation and maintenance under the PPP model.

Six other airports have been shortlisted for the second round of bidding.

It is estimated that the investment in the 12 airports will bring about Rs130bn ($1.72bn).

In a tweet, Press Information Bureau said that the six airports in the first round brought about an annual revenue of Rs10bn.

She also announced that, currently, only 60% of the airspace is available for use and the availability of more airspace will decrease the flying time and fuel costs.

The economic stimulus package was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

India is currently in its fourth lockdown extension until 31 May to limit the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

In February this year, Sitharaman announced that 100 additional airports will be developed in the country by 2024.

Last December, Swiss airport operator Flughafen Zurich secured the concession for the design, development and operation of Jewar International Airport in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

In July, the Government of India approved a proposal to lease out three AAI airports under the PPP model.