To further push investment in infrastructure projects, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reviewed the capital expenditure (Capex) by the petroleum and steel ministries and urged them to front-load their spending. To run towards accelerated capital spending and timely infrastructure development, she did review meetings with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (PNG) and Ministry of Steel.
Sitharaman said infrastructure projects are a preference for the government, and to reach that it is necessary that physical and financial projects targets are spent in the early quarters of the financial year. Union Budget for 2021-22 has given a capital outlay of Rs 5.54 lakh crore, a rise of 34.5 per cent in the Budget Estimate of 2020-21.
“During the meeting, Capex plans of the ministries and their CPSEs for Q3 and Q4, Capex accomplishments of Q1 and Q2, expenses on National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), projects initiated through PPP, funds to be raised by asset monetization and Convergence under National Master Plan were discussed,” a statement said.
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During the review meeting, ideas like MoRTH’s revision of Model Concession Agreements (MCAs) to make them more dealer-friendly and steps towards the Right of Way issues by the Ministry of Steel were also discussed. It was seen that these areas display energetic steps in fighting the barriers forced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the statement added.