Wed, 14 Apr 2021

FM chairs meetingon post-budget action

26 Feb 2021, 22:56 GMT+10

New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday chaired a virtual meeting with CEO of NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant and secretaries of 22 infrastructure ministries and departments to discuss post-budget action points for infrastructure roadmap ahead, informed the Finance Ministry.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry, this was the third review meeting by Sitharaman with ministries and departments about the importance of the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) and infrastructure sector to ensure faster post-COVID-19 recovery of the economy.

The NIP was launched with 6,835 projects; the project pipeline has now been expanded to nearly 7,600 projects. It has witnessed accelerated spending on infrastructure projects in ministries specially in Q2 and Q3 of financial year 2021, the statement read.

It has helped in targeting substantial increase in infrastructure expenditure in many ministries in FY21 over expenditure done in FY20. Around 216 projects worth Rs 74,067 crore under Government of India infrastructure ministries have been completed till Q3 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 Q3 FY 21. However, it has also been observed that ministries/departments needs to work very hard in order to ensure achieving targets of the NIP.

The CEO of NITI Aayog gave a presentation on asset monetisation and highlighted various models for monetisation of core infrastructure assets and also spoke about finalising targets for asset monetisation.

While reviewing the performance of ministries/departments on NIP, Sitharaman emphasised that NIP will play a critical role in revitalising economy post-pandemic. The Ministries/departments were requested to aim to achieve more than the NIP targets.

The Finance Minister also highlighted that the NIP is not just central government budgetary expenditure on infrastructure and it also includes infra spending by states and private sector as well as expenditure through extra-budgetary resources. Therefore, Sithraman asked ministries/departments to 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 ministries/departments also need to explore PPP mode for viable projects and use government funding for pushing infrastructure projects which cannot be done in PPP mode," she added.

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

She also requested secretaries of ministries/departments to ensure their full and personal engagement in NIP implementation, updation on NIP portal and expedite implementation of NIP projects. (ANI)

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