NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday asked ministries to front-load their FY22 capital expenditure (capex), saying it is critical for strengthening the economy post the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sitharaman chaired a virtual meeting with senior government officials, including the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), to discuss the infrastructure roadmap.
This was the fourth review meeting by the Finance Minister with ministries/departments.
During the meeting, the finance minister also asked ministries to aim to achieve more than their capex targets and discussed the status of implementation of budget announcements and measures to expedite infrastructure investments.
The Union Budget 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.
“However, the efforts from the budgetary side to increase the capex have to be complemented by the public sector enterprises,” she was quoted as saying in a finance ministry statement.
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, she said, adding that the ministries also need to explore PPP (Public Private Partnership) mode for viable projects.
She also asked the ministries to take up regular reviews of sector-specific projects with the concerned state governments for their effective implementation.
The finance minister also asked the ministries and their CPSEs to ensure clearance of MSME dues at the earliest.
The meeting was attended by officials from the Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Public Enterprises, Secretary, Ministry of Power, Railway Board and heads of CPSEs under ministry of Railways and Ministry of Power.