Putting pressure on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), the Finance Ministry has urged these companies to their boost capital expenditure during the current fiscal year — 2019-20.

In a statement issued after a meeting with top officials of the Maharatna and Navratna categories of CPSEs and Financial Advisors attached to the key infrastructure ministries, the Finance Ministry said that the meeting was called to consider measures to boost capital expenditure of the Union government so as to pump liquidity into the market to boost demand.

The Centre has budgeted ₹3.38-lakh crore for capital expenditure during the current fiscal while various CPSEs have their own plan.

The meeting was chaired by Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty, while Expenditure Secretary GC Murmu was the co-chair.

There are eight Maharatna CPSEs — BHEL, BPCL, Coal India, GAIL, Indian Oil, NTPC, ONGC and SAIL — and 16 Navratna CPSEs. The meeting was attended by Chairman-and-Managing Director of Power Grid, Director (Projects) of NTPC, Member (Finance) of NHAI, Director (Finance) of ONGC and SAIL.

Financial Advisors attached with Ministries of Railways, Health and Family Welfare, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Power, Civil Aviation, Housing and Urban Affairs, Water Resources, Rural Development and Human Resource Development were also present during the meeting.

At the meeting, the Finance Ministry officials said that they also plan to monitor large infrastructure projects of various other ministries.

During the meeting, CPSEs and Ministries were impressed upon the need to adhere to the expenditure plan and accelerate investment activities. The meeting reviewed the monitoring of the release of payments for procurements and other contracts to enable infusion of liquidity in a time bound manner and resolution of outstanding payments which may have been held up due to disputes.

It was decided that the Finance Ministry would constantly monitor the progress of large infrastructure projects for the Ministries as well as the CPSEs and follow up meetings would be held. For this purpose, the Ministry will be developing a dashboard for enabling Ministries to upload figures on a periodic basis.

Last week, the Expenditure Secretary and Economic Affairs Secretary also co-chaired a meeting with the heads of large CPSEs and officials of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and the Ministry of Public Enterprises.

These meetings are taking place at a time when the country’s economic growth has slumped for the fifth straight quarter to an over six-year low of 5 per cent in the three months ended June as consumer demand and private investment slowed amid deteriorating global environment.