Business Economy

Capital expenditure on track to meet year-end target, says FM

The government’s capital expenditure is on track and will meet the budgeted target by the end of the year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday.

Ms. Sitharaman added that she had given instructions to all the major Ministries to release all pending dues and to also provide a capital expenditure plan for the next four quarters.

Total expenditure

The central government’s total expenditure for fiscal 2019-20 through the Budget is ₹27.86 lakh crore, of which the capital expenditure is budgeted at ₹3.38 lakh crore (12.2%).

Apart from this, the total grants-in-aid given to the Ministries and Departments amounts to ₹2.07 lakh crore, taking the total capital expenditure amount for 2019-20 to ₹5.45 lakh crore.

The government on Friday said that as of August, 40.28% of the expenditure under the capital head, and 39.7% of the expenditure under the grants-in-aid head, had been assigned.

“The government is on track to meet its budgeted capital expenditure by the end of the year, we expect 100% of the budgeted amount to be met,” Ms. Sitharaman said at a press conference following a meeting with 21 major Ministries to review their capital expenditure progress and future plans. “We have also asked the Ministries to provide a capital expenditure plan for the next four quarters,” she added.

“Some Ministries orally spelt out their plans, but within the next week they will provide a plan to the Expenditure Secretary.”

The Finance Minister also said she had made it clear to the Ministries that they must release all the pending dues to their services and goods suppliers at the earliest, and added that the impression she got from the Ministries was that the “little that was left pending would be released in the next few days”.

‘Get expenditure going’

“At this stage, we are only looking at getting expenditure going,” Ms. Sitharaman said when asked whether the government would meet its fiscal deficit target for the year. “Nearer the time, we will have to look at reconciling this with our budgetary commitments.”

Expenditure Secretary Girish Chandra Murmu said that of the about ₹60,000 crore of payments that were pending, about ₹40,000 crore had already been released.

Ms. Sitharaman added that about 90% of outstanding GST refunds that were due had also been released as of August 23.

Source: thehindu.com

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