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Govt to clear Rs 20,000 crore overdues by October first week: Sitharaman


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday asked various ministries to give capital expenditure (capex) plans for next four quarters and said the government's expenditure plan is on track.
"Of the total Rs 60,000 crore overdue from various ministries, Rs 40,000 crore has been cleared. The remaining Rs 20,000 crore dues will be cleared by the first week of October," she said.
"I'm looking to get the expenditure going. At this moment, I want to ensure the government does not sit on funds which are due," she said after meeting secretaries and financial advisors of 21 key ministries.
The Finance Minister asked ministries and government departments that regular payments must be cleared expeditiously as it spurs investment cycle. She emphasised that all efforts must be made to ensure that outstanding payments are cleared before the festival season.
Besides, capex must be monitored on a monthly basis to ensure that there are no slippages.
Expenditure -- both revenue and capital -- made by the government provides a major boost to aggregate demand. Total expenditure of the Central government for 2019-20 through the Budget is Rs 27.86 lakh crore.
Of this, capital expenditure is budgeted at Rs 3.38 lakh crore (12.2 per cent) in Budget Estimates 2019-20 as against revenue expenditure of Rs 24.27 lakh crore (87.8 per cent).
The meeting was called to review total capex by the ministries in 2019-20 so far and plan for the future in current financial year. "The government expenditure plan is on track. We are looking at our Budget target. The larger story is that the government will not sit on payments due," said Sitharaman.
She added: "The money should go to where people have been waiting. Money should get going to the ground level." On Saturday, Sitharaman will have a separate meeting with different agencies of public sector undertakings and other agencies.
Meanwhile, Expenditure Secretary GS Murmu said the government capex will be monitored closely over next two quarters. He said most government departments have spent 50 per cent of their capex plans so far this fiscal year.
Central public sector enterprises released payment of Rs 20,157 crore in the past three months. The Department of Expenditure will monitor the progress of large infrastructure projects for the ministries and followed up in subsequent meetings. This will enhance allocative efficiency, he said.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 6:33 PM IST

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