Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asks heads of 23 CPSEs to boost capex plans

As part of the government’s plan to accelerate economic growth, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman urged central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) to boost their capital expenditure (capex) and achieve their targets, in a virtual meeting on Tuesday.

Sitharaman said CPSEs played an important role in pushing the economy forward while reviewing their performance, adding that a better performance from the CPSEs can substantially improve the recovery prospects of the economy, according to the release.

During the meeting, which included the ministries of petroleum and natural gas, coal, power, mines, the department of atomic energy and the managing directors of 23 CPSEs, Sitharaman asked the concerned secretaries to ensure the CPSEs achieved capex of at least 50% of their capital outlay for the fiscal by the second quarter itself.

Emphasising the sense of urgency in implementation, she directed the ministries and CPSEs to flag any unresolved issues to the departments of economic affairs or public enterprises for an immediate solution.

The minister’s message was part of the series of meetings held by the finance ministry with various stakeholders of the economy to bolster growth.

These 23 CPSEs surpassed their capex target for the previous fiscal, achieving 101% at Rs 1.66 lakh crore against the target of Rs 1.65 lakh crore. However, they were behind last year’s Q1 capex of Rs 26,320 crore or 16% of the target, compared to only 12% at Rs 20,202 crore in Q1 FY21. This year’s capex target is Rs 1.66 lakh crore.

The CPSEs and ministries put forth their constraints on account of the pandemic, such as manpower shortages, delayed imports and delayed payments from distribution companies for CPSEs like the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and NLC.

Sitharaman said that an extraordinary situation requires extraordinary efforts and with collective efforts, adding that we will not only perform better but also help the Indian economy to achieve better results, according to the release.

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