Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asks for capex hike in DoT, aviation ministry

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday reviewed the progress of capital expenditure by the civil aviation ministry and the telecom department and asked them to make it “substantially higher” than the current target.

“The Finance Minister also directed officials in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) to work in close coordination with Ministry of Civil Aviation to ensure that more projects are initiated and CAPEX spending in FY23 is substantially increased than the present target,” a statement from the finance ministry said. Union Budget for 2021-22 has provided a capital outlay of Rs 5.54 lakh crore, an increase of 34.5% over the Budget Estimate of 2020-21.

“During the meeting, CAPEX status of Q1 and Q2, Front-loading of CAPEX, estimated targets of capital spending by Ministries and their Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) in the upcoming quarters of current financial year, expenditure incurred for implementation of National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) projects, estimation of funds to be raised by asset monetisation, projects undertaken through PPP and Convergence under National Master Plan (Gati Shakti) were discussed,” the statement added.

The FM asked the Department of Telecommunications to push its CPSE CAPEX, fast-track asset monetisation, and work in close coordination with DIPAM to finalise the process of monetisation at the earliest, ensuring expeditious implementation of digital expansion plans in entire North-East region on priority.

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