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Major PSUs have pledged Rs 50,000 crore of capex in Oct-Dec: Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on September 28 met officials from 32 major public sector undertakings (PSUs) and the minister said that they have pegged their capital expenditure (capex) pipeline for Oct-Dec at Rs 50,000 crore.

Till August 2019, capex of these PSUs were Rs Rs 48,077 crore and the capex committed for the last quarter of the current year is Rs 54,700 core, Expenditure secretary G.C. Murmu said.

Sitharaman also said that all the PSUs that attended the meeting said that their capital expenditure targets for 2019-20 (Apr-Mar) would be met.

The minister also said that a portal will be set up by the government for suppliers and contractors to track their due payments.

“All pending overdues will be met by October 15 and by October 15 they will have a portal through which all dealers and contractors shall start monitoring their payment,” Sitharaman said at a press briefing.

Sitharaman said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the finance secretary and selected number of PSUs would hold a meeting to discuss why bank guarantee is becoming a big hurdle.

“…why bank guarantee is becoming a big hitch or hurdle in government paying up the 75 percent post arbitration awards. If that is the case, I want RBI help also. The finance secretary will sit with RBI and sort this out,” the minister said.

Sitharaman added that PSUs would review post-arbitration claims without compromising the companies’ interests.

Among other things, it was decided that the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) must set up a payments tracking portal for suppliers and contractors.

Murmu said that these PSUs have Rs 49,000 crore worth arbitration and Rs 43,000 crore of counter claims.

“The finance minister stressed that capex needs to be given a vigorous push in the next two quarters. Therefore, capex plan has to be firmed up and followed up with ground level execution. Ministry of Finance would monitor the capital expenditure regularly,” the government said in a statement.

Sitharaman also said that the government has asked some PSUs to give a reason for purchase of goods and services outside the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), though those were available on the same.

About Rs 60,000 crore worth of goods and services have been purchased outside the GeM platform by some PSUs and the ministry has asked them for the reason, Sitharaman said.

ONGC has a capex plan of Rs 32,921 crore for FY 2019-20. Its capex till August 2019 was Rs. 8,777 crore which was 26.66 percent of the total planned capex.

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