Government Sets Up Task Force To Identify Infra Projects That Need Funding: FM
At a time when stuck projects have become a key area of concern for the government, Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman has said the centre-appointed task-force is busy drawing up a national infrastructure pipeline. The economic affairs secretary-headed task force was set up by the government after it announced a grant of Rs 100 lakh crores for infrastructure development in this year’s budget. "Government spending has to be speeded up to boost consumption. The best spending (by government) will be on infrastructure,” the minister said, on September 10, 2019.
While conceding that government spending had to improve to trigger activity in an otherwise slow economy, the FM said the task force would speedily identify the projects so that money can be front loaded. The task force, comprising secretaries from different ministries, other senior officials and the NITI Aayog CEO, would identify technically feasible and financially/economically viable infrastructure projects that can be initiated in 2019-20.
The FM also said the government was acutely conscious of the problems faced by homebuyers due to large-scale project delays, and relief measures on this front would be announced “sooner than later”. Owing to an ongoing liquidity crisis, several projects across the country’s major markets are stuck in various stages of construction, resulting in a slowdown in the real estate sector, the second-largest employment generator in Indian after agriculture.
Growth in Asia's third-largest economy slipped to a six-year low of five per cent in the April-June quarter of the current financial year.
Sitharaman has said that the government has already announced several measures to improve the situation, and is busy working on a war footing to assist every sector that might be in need of support.