11/15/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/15/2021 11:21
With a view to enhance the investment climate in the country in the wake of strong recovery and the opportunities accorded by a shift in geo-political realities post pandemic, Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman interacted with Chief Ministers and Finance Ministers of all States/ Lt Governors of UTs via virtual conference here today.
The meeting was attended by Chief Ministers of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh. Lt Governors of Jammu and Kashmir; Deputy Chief Ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, and Delhi. State Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal; State Government Officials of Ladakh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Andaman & Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli & Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep along withSecretaries of GoI Line Ministries, Chief Secretaries and Finance Secretaries Secretary (Economic Affairs), Joint Secretaries (Economic Affairs) and other officials of Centre and State.
In her opening remarks, Finance Minister emphasized that the economy has been growing significantly post the second wave of pandemic and indicators such as imports, exports, PMI manufacturing, digital payments, etc. have already reached pre-pandemic levels. Smt. Sitharaman highlighted that with favourable international perception of India's growth and in light of the structural, sectoral & financial, reforms undertaken by Government of India, global and domestic investors are upbeat about the investment attractiveness of the country. States should leverage this opportunity to scale up investments and growth.
The Finance Minister also said that the Government of India has taken concrete steps to increase capital spending and drive an infrastructure and investment-led growth. Benefits of higher investment in Infrastructure manifest in form of increased employment opportunities, access to market and materials, improved quality of life and empowerment of vulnerable sections. Union Budget FY 2021-22 has allocated Rs 5.54 lakh crore capital outlay, an increase of 34.5% over last year. Additionally, around Rs 2 lakh crore allocation is for states and autonomous bodies for their capital expenditure. Over and above this, a new incentive scheme was launched by GoI for states that could achieve at least 15 % of the target set for FY21-22 by the end of 1st quarter, 45% by end of 2nd quarter, 70 % by the end of 3rd quarter. States that achieve their targets become eligible for incremental borrowing. After the end of 1st quarter, 11 states got permission to mobilise an additional total amount of Rs 15,271 crore.
Smt. Sitharaman further said that the recently launched National Monetization Pipeline includes only Central government assets and State assets have been out of its purview as of now. Smt. Sitharaman suggested that there is a significant potentially monetizable asset base in states which could be leveraged to enhance the capital available for new infrastructure creation and other social sector pressing priorities.
Smt. Sitharaman urged states to help India become the fastest growing economy in coming years, through facilitating investment attractiveness and expediting ease of doing business measures and undertake power reforms with regards to reduction in AT&C and ACS-RRR. Smt. Sitharaman further emphasized that since in many cases land is one of the major bottlenecks for project on-grounding, states must contrive to smoothen land acquisition procedures and create land banks to be tapped at the time of investment.
The Finance Minister urged the States to strengthen their urban local bodies (ULBs) in light of the fact that there has been decidedly a larger allocation to ULBs than earlier and are increasingly been encouraged to pursue resource mobilization.
Since infrastructure projects require technical assistance in addition to financial resources, Smt. Sitharaman said that GoI Line Ministries and DEA would extend all possible cooperation for technical or advisory assistance to states. Moreover, the Viability Gap Funding provision will help finance socially relevant but financially unviable projects especially across social sectors.
The Finance Minister said that she is looking forward to listening from states and understand their ideas and plans in the direction of investment enhancement. In the open interaction, States thanked GoI for organizing this consultative interaction. Each of the states enumerated the list of reforms and pro-active policies they are pursuing to establish good governance and to facilitate investments.
Following are the key ideas and requests shared by states to facilitate investment promotion:
The meeting ended with vote of thanks to the chair.