News Update

Front load capex, explore PPP mode: Sitharaman on infra roadmap

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, JUN 12, 2021: FINANCE Minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday directed senior government officials from various ministries to spend more than their Capital Expenditure (Capex) targets as well as explore Public Private Partnerships (PPP) for viable projects.

During a review meeting discussing the infrastructure roadmap, the capex plans of ministries and their public sector units, status of implementation of Budget 2021-22 announcements and measures to expedite infrastructure investment were discussed.

"Enhanced capex will play a critical role in revitalising the economy post-pandemic," said Ms Sitharaman and encouraged the ministries to front-load their capital expenditure. The Budget 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.

However, she added, the efforts from the budgetary side have to be complemented by the public sector enterprises. The minister said infrastructure expenditure is not just Centre’s budgetary expenditure, but also includes government expenditure through extra-budgetary resources.

"Ministries are to actively work on getting projects funded through innovative structuring and financing and provide all support to private sector for enhancing infrastructure spending," she added.

Ms Sitharaman asked ministries to explore PPP mode for viable projects and clear the dues owed to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) at the earliest.

The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) was asked to expedite important projects bringing high level data connectivity while the Road Transport Ministry was told to explore the possibility of enhancing connectivity in hilly regions and to expedite the implementation of Vehicle Scrapping Facility.

The minister asked the Department of Atomic Energy to ensure the timely achievement of initiatives announced under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) Package.

Ministries were also told to take up regular reviews of sector-specific projects with the concerned State governments for their effective implementation.