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Sitharaman chairs meeting to discuss infrastructure roadmap ahead
New Delhi [India]: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday held a virtual meeting with senior government officials to discuss the infrastructure roadmap ahead.
This was the 5th review meeting by the Finance Minister with ministries and departments on the infrastructure roadmap ahead.
During the meeting, capital expenditure (CAPEX) plans of ministries and their CPSEs, the status of implementation of budget announcements and measures to expedite infrastructure investment were discussed.
Reviewing the capital expenditure performance of ministries and their CPSEs, Finance Minister emphasised that enhanced CAPEX will play a critical role in revitalising the economy post-pandemic and encouraged the ministries to front-load their capital expenditure.
An official release said that ministries were also requested to aim to achieve more than their CAPEX targets.
The Finance Minister said that the 2021-22 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, the efforts from the budgetary side to increase the capital expenditure have to be complemented by the Public Sector Enterprises, she added.
The minister also highlighted that the infrastructure expenditure is not just central government budgetary expenditure on infrastructure and includes infrastructure spending by state governments and private sector.
It also includes government expenditure through extra-budgetary resources.
She said the 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 that the ministries also need to explore Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode for viable projects.
She asked the ministries and their CPSEs to ensure clearance of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) dues at the earliest.
Sitharaman asked the DoT to expedite important projects bringing the benefit of high-level data connectivity to all parts of the country including aspirational districts.
The Road Transport Ministry was asked to explore the possibility of enhancing connectivity in hilly regions and to expedite the implementation of the Vehicle Scrapping Facility.
The Department of Atomic Energy was asked to ensure the timely achievement of initiatives announced under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package (ANBP).
The minister urged the secretaries to push expenditure on large important projects to ensure that the achievement is commensurate with timelines.
She also asked the ministries to take up regular reviews of sector-specific projects with the concerned state governments for effective implementation of the same. (ANI)