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Explore PPP for viable projects in National Infrastructure Pipeline, says FM Sitharaman

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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that there is a need to explore public private participation (PPP) mode for viable projects and use government funding for pushing infrastructure projects which can’t be done through that mode.

“Ministries or 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 minister said during a review meeting on National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) and infrastructure sector, Friday.

“Ministries or 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,” she said in the meeting with CEO, NITI Aayog and secretaries of 22 infrastructure ministries and departments.

The NIP was launched with 6,835 projects, but the project pipeline has now been expanded to nearly 7,600 projects and has witnessed accelerated spending on infrastructure projects in ministries especially in second and third quarters of FY21.

Around 216 projects worth Rs 74,067 crore under the government infrastructure ministries have been completed till December-end 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 the same time.

The NIP has helped in targeting substantial increase in infrastructure expenditure in many ministries in FY21 over expenditure done in FY20, Sitharaman added.

“NIP will play a critical role in revitalizing the economy post pandemic… NIP is not just central government budgetary expenditure on infrastructure, it also includes infra spending by states and private sector and government expenditure through extra budgetary resources,” she said.

The minister added that ministries and departments need to work very hard in order to ensure achieving targets of the NIP.

NITI Aayog chief executive officer also 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.

The finance minister during the discussion advised NITI Aayog to work on strengthening dispute resolution mechanism, as updating MCAs as per international best practices.

Sithraman also asked secretaries of respective ministries and departments to ensure their full engagement in NIP implementation, updation on NIP portal and expedite implementation of NIP projects. Regular review meetings will be held going forward.

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