New Delhi, Feb 26 (FN Agency) Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a virtual meeting today with CEO, NITI Aayog and Secretaries of 22 Infrastructure Ministries/Departments discussed post-budget action points for infrastructure roadmap ahead including NIP implementation. This was the third review meeting by the Finance Minister with Ministries/Departments about the importance of National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) and infrastructure sector to ensure a faster post covid-19 recovery of the economy.
It was discussed in the meeting, that in the year, when countries across the globe have been dealing with the challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic, the NIP has shown substantial progress. The NIP was launched with 6,835 projects; the project pipeline has now been expanded to nearly 7,600 projects. It has witnessed accelerated spending on infrastructure projects in Ministries specially in Q2/Q3 FY21. It has helped in targeting substantial increase in infrastructure expenditure in many Ministries in FY21 over expenditure done in FY20. Around 216 projects worth Rs. 74,067 crore under GoI infrastructure ministries have been completed till Q3 FY 21. Around 678 projects worth Rs. 6 lakh crore have progressed from the lower stage to the upper stage of project formulation and implementation till Q3 FY 21. However, it has also been observed that Ministries/Departments needs to work very hard in order to ensure achieving targets of the NIP.
CEO, NITI Aayog gave a presentation on asset monetization and highlighted various models for monetization of core infrastructure assets and also spoke about finalizing targets for asset monetization.
While reviewing the performance of Ministries/Departments on NIP, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman emphasised that NIP will play a critical role in revitalizing economy post pandemic. Ministries/Departments were requested to aim to achieve more than the NIP targets.
The Finance Minister also highlighted that the NIP is not just central government budgetary expenditure on Infrastructure. It also includes infra spending by states and private sector. It also includes government expenditure through extra budgetary resources. Therefore, Ministries/Departments should actively work on getting project funded through innovative structuring and financing, provide all the help and support to private sector for enhanced infra spending. The Ministries/Departments also need to explore PPP mode for viable projects and use government funding for pushing infrastructure projects which can’t be done in PPP mode.
The Finance Minister during the discussion advised NITI Aayog to work on strengthening dispute resolution mechanism as updating MCAs as per international best practices. In the end, the Finance Minister requested secretaries of Ministries/Departments to ensure their full and personal engagement in NIP implementation, updation on NIP portal and expedite implementation of NIP projects. She said that she will hold regular review meetings with all ministries/departments.