Growth on mind, govt seeks PSU cash chest
The government is working on a mechanism under which nine major public sector undertakings (PSUs) having large cash reserves would start investing in infrastructure projects in a time-bound manner to boost growth.
Disclosing this, Arvind Mayaram, a secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), said on Tuesday that the finance minister P Chidambaram would meet chairpersons and managing directors of the PSUs on Wednesday and fix the deadlines for the companies’ investment.
‘The identified PSUs are sitting on cash reserves of Rs 1.8 lakh crore. The identified projects will soon be posed to the union cabinet for time-bound implementation of the projects,’ Mayaram said.
He was addressing the national executive committee meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here.
Among other plans, Mayaram said the government would make a series of interventions to trigger growth in the economy like bringing on stream road and petroleum sector projects of Rs 1,000 crore or more.
In the next three months, a PPP (public-private partnership) framework will be put in place for creating warehousing facilities for food grains, entailing an investment of Rs 20,000 crore.
The DEA secretary said the government was aware of the lack of credit and that it was committed to ensuring early financial closure of large private sector companies.
‘A slew of decisions have already been announced to ease external commercial borrowings and borrowings for Indian companies abroad would be made easier for retiring domestic loans.’
Mayaram also said that steps were being taken to control the fiscal deficit.
‘This would involve a little hardship across the board, from low-income to high-income earners. The pain of fiscal correction will be felt by everybody.’