At a time when private sector investment plans are taking a hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is the public sector that has been bearing the weight of capital expenditure and new infrastructure spending in the Indian economy in the past few years.
Chief Economic Advisor V Anantha Nageswaran had last month said that in the past 10 years, public sector capital investment increased from Rs 6.8 trillion to Rs 21.2 trillion, at a time when the financial sector companies were still repairing their balance sheets. By public sector, Nageswaran meant the central and state governments and state-owned enterprises.
For the current fiscal year (FY23), Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a capex outlay of Rs 7.5 trillion, a 35.4 per cent jump from the Budget Estimates of FY22. This included Rs 1 trillion in long term and interest-free loans to states to meet their capex needs.
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