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FM asks infra ministries, CPSEs to front-load capex, explore PPP mode for viable projects

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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked ministries to front-load their capital expenditure and achieve more than the set targets during the performance review on infrastructure roadmap Friday.

Central public sector enterprises have been asked to expedite clearance of dues of micro, small and medium sector enterprises and explore public private partnership mode for viable projects.

“Capex will play a critical role in revitalising the economy post-pandemic and encouraged the ministries to front-load their capital expenditure,” the finance ministry said in a statement after the meeting during which capex plans of ministries and their CPSEs, status of implementation of Budget announcements and measures to expedite infrastructure investment were discussed.

During the review, the finance minister asked the department of telecom to expedite important projects bringing the benefit of high level data connectivity to all parts of the country including aspirational districts.

The ministry of road, transport and highways was asked to explore the possibility of enhancing connectivity in hilly regions and to expedite the implementation of vehicle scrapping facility.

The department of atomic energy was asked to ensure timely achievement of initiatives announced under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat package.

“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,” the finance ministry added in the statement.

Secretaries of ministries have also been asked to push expenditure on large important projects to ensure that the achievement is commensurate with timelines. Ministries would have to actively work on getting projects funded through innovative structuring and financing and provide support to private sector for enhancing infrastructure spending.

The Budget for FY22 provides a capital outlay of Rs 5.54 lakh crore, up by a massive 34.5% from the Budget Estimate of FY21. Sitharaman said that efforts from the budgetary side to increase the capital expenditure have to be complemented by the public sector enterprises.

Infrastructure expenditure includes central government budgetary expenditure on infrastructure, includes infrastructure spending by state governments, by private sector, and government expenditure through extra-budgetary resources.

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