Home / News / India /  FM announces 37,000 crore additional capital expenditure for infrastructure

NEW DELHI: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said an additional budget of 25,000 crore will be provided as capital expenditure to develop roads, defence, water supply, urban development and domestically produced capital equipment, to boost economic growth. This will be in over and above the 4.13 trillion provided for in the Union Budget for 2020-21.

The government will also give 12,000 crore in interest-free, 50-year loan to states for capital projects. Of this, 2,500 crore will go to eight northeastern states, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh and 7,500 crore will go to other states in proportion to Finance Commission devolution formula.

The minister said, initially, 50% of the amount will be given to states, and the rest will be allocated once funds are utilised. All the monies will have to be utilised by March 31, 2021.

These funds can be used by states for new or ongoing projects needing funds or for paying off contractors.

“Capital expenditure has a high multiplier effect and raises not only current GDP but also future GDP, making debt more sustainable. Will also give new thrust to states and centre," Sitharaman said announcing slew of measures including leave travel concession (LTC) cash voucher scheme, special festival advance scheme, to spur consumer demand.

“The covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected economy. Supply side constraints have been eased but consumer demand needs boost. (As of now, needs of the poor, weaker sections have been addressed in the Atma Nirbhar Bharat package an its extensions," Sitharaman said.

She added the government will frontload some of its expenditure to stimulate demand while keeping fiscal prudence in mind.

Under the LTC cash voucher scheme, government employees can opt for receiving cash amounting to the leave encashment plus three times the ticket fare to buy goods which attract 12% or more GST.

Only digital transactions will be allowed under the scheme and GST invoice will have to be submitted. Private employees can also avail the incentive if allowed by employers.

"We think the central government employees, if they opt for it, will cost 5,675 crore. And employees of PSBs and public sector undertakings will also be allowed to participate in this and the cost for them would be 1,900 crore," Sitharaman said. State government employees will also have the option to participate in the scheme, she added.

A special festival advance, provided to employees till the 6th Pay Commission, will be revived as a one-time affair, and will be available for all employees, the finance minister said. Interest free advance of 10,000 will be given to all central govt employees which will have to be repaid in 10 installments.

The advance will be given as a prepaid Rupay card up to March 31, 2021, but it cannot be used to draw cash from an ATM.

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