With a view to pump up expenditure and improve investment climate in the country hit by Covid-19 pandemic, the government has asked public sector undertakings to become vehicles of growth and complete 50 per cent of their capital expenditure for FY21 before the end of September quarter.
This came out from the review meeting held by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Secretaries of Ministries of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Power, Coal, Mines and Department of Atomic Energy and the CMDs of 23 CPSEs belonging to these Ministries.
During the meeting, Sitharaman asked the Secretaries to closely monitor the performance of the CPSEs in order to ensure capital expenditure to the tune of 50 per cent of capital outlay by Q2 2020-21. She said that to achieve this, planning should be done in advance and all unresolved issues should be be brought before the ministry for an immediate solution.
Sitharaman said that the CPSEs have a very important role in giving a push to the growth of the Indian economy and help it recover from the impact of Covid-19. For this, she said, it is important that the PSUs achieve targets and ensure that the capital outlay for 2020-21 is spent properly and within time.
The concern this year is that sluggish economic activities on account of Covid-19 and sagging demand conditions may also push the PSUs to step back on their investments.
In FY 2019-20, against the capex target of Rs 1,64,822 crore for the 23 CPSEs, the achievement was Rs 1,66,029 crore i.e. 101 per cent. In Q1 (FY 2019-20) achievement was Rs 26,320 crore (16 per cent) but achievement of Q1 (FY 2020-21) has already slowed down to Rs 20,202 crore (12 per cent). Capex target for 2020-21 is Rs 1,65,510 crore.
This review meeting on Tuesday was held as part of the series of meetings that the Finance Minister is having with various stakeholders to accelerate economic growth.
The Ministries/CPSEs discussed constraints being faced by them due to Covid-19 like problems of availability of manpower, delay in imports, delay in payments by discoms on the dues of the CPSEs like NPCIL and NLC.
The Finance Minister stated that extraordinary situations require extraordinary efforts and with collective efforts, they will not only perform better but also help the Indian economy to achieve better results.