Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday exhorted large central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) to achieve by December 75 per cent of their planned capital expenditure (capex) target for 2020-21, to support economic growth hit by the COVID-19 crisis. She held a virtual meeting with secretaries of coal and petroleum & natural gas, along with the chairman and managing directors (CMDs) of 14 CPSEs belonging to these ministries, an official statement said.
This was the fourth in the ongoing series of meetings that the finance minister is having with various stakeholders to accelerate the economic growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While reviewing the performance of CPSEs, Sitharaman said capex by CPSEs is a critical driver of economic growth and needs to be scaled up for the financial year 2020-21 and 2021-22.
The finance minister asked the concerned secretaries to closely monitor the performance of CPSEs in order to ensure the capital expenditure to the tune of 75 per cent of the capital outlay by the end of the third quarter of 2020-21 and make appropriate plan for it. She expounded that more co-ordinated efforts are required at the levels of secretary of concerned ministries and CMDs of CPSEs to achieve capex targets.
In 2019-20, against the capex target of Rs 1,11,672 crore for these 14 CPSEs, the achievement was Rs 1,16,323 crore that is 104 per cent, the statement said. It added that the capex target is pegged Rs 1,15,934 crore for these companies for the current financial year. It further said the achievement in the first half of the current financial year stood at Rs 37,423 crore (32 per cent of the target), while it was Rs 43,097 crore (39 per cent) in the previous financial year.
While mentioning the significant role of CPSEs in giving a push to the growth of the Indian economy, the finance minister encouraged the CPSEs to perform better to achieve their targets and ensure that the capital outlay for 2020-21 is spent properly and within time. The finance minister said better performance of CPSEs can help the economy in a big way to recover from the impact of COVID-19.
The CPSE capex review is carried out jointly by the Department of Economic Affairs and the Department of Public Enterprises, it added.