Virtual Conference Held By FM To Discuss Infrastructure Expenditure

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PIB Delhi: A virtual meeting was held by Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman with senior government officials to discuss the infrastructure roadmap ahead. It’s the fourth review meeting by the finance minister with Ministries/Departments and the second in the series of meetings scheduled on the infrastructure roadmap ahead after the presentation of Budget 21-22. The virtual meeting was attended by Finance Secretary, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Secretary, M/o Power, and Chairman, Railway Board & CEO as well as CMDs/CEOs of CPSEs of these two Ministries.

Capital Expenditure Plans of Ministries and their CPSEs, the status of implementation of budget announcements, and measures to expedite infrastructure investment were discussed in the meeting. While reviewing the performance of the Ministries and their CPSEs, an enhanced CAPEX will play a critical role in revitalizing the economy post-pandemic.

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. However, the efforts to increase the capital expenditure have to be complemented by the Public Sector Enterprises, she added.

The FM also encouraged the Ministries to front-load their capital expenditure and further Ministries were also requested to aim to achieve more than their CAPEX targets.

The infrastructure expenditure includes infrastructures pending by state governments and the private sector including 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 the private sector for enhancing infrastructure spending, the finance minister said.

Also, the Ministries need to explore PPP mode for viable projects. Sitharaman also requested to ensure clearance of MSME’s dues at the earliest.

Finance Minister also requested the Secretaries of Ministries to push expenditure on large important projects to ensure the achievement is commensurate with timelines. Regular reviews of sector-specific projects with the concerned State Governments for effective implementation of the same should be on track.