Sitharaman asks CPSEs to front-load capital expenditure

New Delhi, Jun 4 (FN Agency) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday asked central public sector enterprises to front-load their capital expenditure, saying that capex will play a critical role in the economy post pandemic. She also asked ministries to aim to achieve more than their capex targets. The minister chaired a virtual meeting with senior officials to discuss 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.

Sitharaman said that Budgetary increase in capital expenditure have to be complemented by the PSEs. The Budget for Financial Year 2021-22 provided a capital outlay of Rs 5.54 lakh crore, a sharp increase of 34.5 per cent over the Budget Estimate of 2020-21. The minister also highlighted that the infrastructure expenditure is not just central government budgetary expenditure on infrastructure and includes infrastructures pending by State governments and the private sector. It also includes government expenditure through extra-budgetary resources. Therefore, ministries need to work on getting projects funded through innovative structuring and financing and provide all support to private sector for enhancing infrastructure spending, she said, The ministries also need to explore the Public-Private-Partnership mode for viable projects. The finance minister urged the Secretaries of ministries to push expenditure on large important projects. She asked the ministries to take up regular reviews of sector-specific projects with the State governments for their effective implementation. The minister also asked the ministries and their CPSEs to ensure clearance of MSME’s dues at the earliest!