New Delhi: A virtual meeting was chaired for the 5th time by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs with senior government officials to discuss the infrastructure roadmap ahead.
Budget implementation status, announcements, and measures to expedite infrastructure investment, Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) Plans of Ministries and their CPSEs were further discussed in the virtual meeting held on Friday, comprising of Finance Secretary, Secretary (Economic Affairs), Secretary (Public Enterprises), Secretary (Road Transport and Highways), Secretary (Telecommunications), Secretary (Atomic Energy) as well as CMDs/CEOs of CPSEs of these three Ministries/Departments.
Finance Minister further emphasized the critical role played by an enhanced CAPEX in revitalizing the economy post-pandemic and encouraged the Ministries to front-load their capital expenditure and CPSEs right after it reviewed the performance of ministries.
The infrastructure expenditure is not just Central Government budgetary expenditure on infrastructure, it includes infrastructure spending by state governments and private sector expenditure through extra-budgetary resources, and hence, Ministries shall remain active for the projects funding through innovative structuring and financing and provide the support to the private sector, by exploring Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode for viable projects. Clearance of MSME dues of Ministries and CPSEs are asked by the FM at the earliest.
The Budget for Financial Year 2021-22 provided a capital outlay of Rs. 5.54 lakh crore, a sharp increase of 34.5% over the Budget Estimate of 2020-21 and aims to achieve a high in CAPEX. Moreover, efforts of increased capital expenditure for the budget are commendable by Public Sector Enterprises, adds Sitharaman.
Important projects to bring benefits of high-level data connectivity to all parts of the country including Aspirational Districts from the DoT expedite, as asked by inter alia finance minister.
The MoRTH was asked to explore the possibility of connectivity development in hilly regions and to expedite the implementation of the Vehicle Scrapping Facility. Initiatives announced under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package (ANBP) were asked to ensure the regular achievements by the Department of Atomic Energy.
Furthermore, the finance minister requested the Secretaries of Ministries to push expenditure on larger important projects and ensure their achievement within the timeline. Concluding the meeting, Sitharaman had also asked the Ministries to take up regular reviews of sector-specific projects with the concerned State Governments for effective implementation of the same.