To keep momentum in economic activity amid the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday asked some key ministries to front-load their capital expenditure and try to exceed their their capex targets for FY22.
She also asked the ministries to clear their dues to MSMEs and the PSUs under them at the earliest. The ministries were also told to explore Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for viable projects.
“This was the 5th review meeting by the finance minister with ministries/departments on the infrastructure roadmap ahead. During the meeting, capital expenditure plans of ministries and their CPSEs, status of implementation of budget announcements and measures to expedite infrastructure investment were discussed,” finance ministry said in a statement.
Besides secretaries of key departments, the meeting was attended by CMDs/CEOs of CPSEs under the ministry of road transport and highways, telecommunications and atomic energy.
For FY22, the union budget has allocated Rs 5.54 lakh crore for capex, which is 26.5% higher than the provisional actuals of Rs 4.25 lakh crore in FY21. In April, the finance ministry has issued a directive to facilitate allocation of additional funds from department of economic affairs’ discretionary corpus of Rs 44,000 crore to those who show good progress in capex.
“While reviewing the capital expenditure performance of the ministries and their CPSEs, Finance Minister emphasised that enhanced capex will play a critical role in revitalising the economy post-pandemic and encouraged the ministries to front-load their capital expenditure,” the finance ministry said. The efforts from the budgetary side to increase the capital expenditure have to be complemented by the CPSEs, the minister said.
Sitharaman also added that the ministries also need to explore Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for viable projects. She also asked the ministries and their CPSEs to ensure clearance of MSMEs dues at the earliest.
The minister asked the telecom department to expedite the important projects bringing the benefit of high level data connectivity to all parts of the country including Aspirational Districts. The road ministry was asked to explore the possibility of enhancing connectivity in hilly regions and to expedite the implementation of Vehicle Scrapping Facility. The department of atomic energy was asked to ensure timely achievement of initiatives announced under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package (ANBP).