Economy

FM asks ministries to front-load CAPEX, quickly clear MSME dues

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 09, 2021

Certain ministries also told to push for asset monetisation

 

The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday asked ministries dealing with infrastructure development to front-load their capital expenditure (CAPEX) while urging them to aim to exceed their CAPEX targets.

Addressing the 6th review meeting by the Finance Minister with Ministries/Departments on the infrastructure roadmap ahead, Sitharaman emphasised that enhanced CAPEX will play a critical role in revitalising the post-pandemic economy.

She highlighted that the Budget for financial year 2021-22 provided a capital outlay of ₹ 5.54 lakh crore, a sharp increase of 34.5 per cent over the Budget estimate of 2020-21. The efforts from the budgetary side to increase the capital expenditure have to be complemented by the Public Sector Enterprises, Sitharaman added.

During the virtual meeting, CAPEX plans of Ministries and their CPSEs, status of implementation of budget announcements and measures to expedite infrastructure investment were discussed.

While reviewing the progress, the Finance Minister asked the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry to expedite the capital expenditure and make efforts for front loading it. The Steel Ministry was asked to front load capex and facilitate private investment by providing support and removing bottlenecks. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry was asked to expedite monetization of assets during FY 2021-22. Department of Space was asked to focus on domestic procurement wherever possible.

Sitharaman also highlighted that the infrastructure expenditure is not just Central Government budgetary expenditure on infrastructure and includes infrastructure spending by State Governments and private sector. It also includes Government expenditure through extra-budgetary resources. Therefore, Ministries are to actively work on getting projects funded through innovative structuring and financing and provide all support to private sector for enhancing infrastructure spending, she said.

‘Explore PPP mode’

The Finance Minister also added that the Ministries also need to explore Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for viable projects, an official release said. Sitharaman also asked the Ministries and their CPSEs to ensure clearance of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) dues by July 31, 2021.

Finance Minister also asked the Secretaries of Ministries to push expenditure on large important projects to ensure that the achievement is commensurate with timelines. She also asked the Ministries to take up regular reviews of sector-specific projects with the concerned State Governments for effective implementation of the same, the release added.

The meeting was attended by Finance Secretary, Secretary (Economic Affairs), Secretary (Public Enterprises), Secretary (Steel). Secretary (Housing & Urban Affairs), Secretary (Petroleum & Natural Gas) and Secretary (Space) as well as CMDs/CEOs of CPSEs of these Ministries/Departments.

Published on June 29, 2021

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