Invest or pay higher dividend: PMO to CPSEs
New Delhi: The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Monday asked about two dozen top PSUs including ONGC, GAIL, NTPC and BHEL to spend the targeted Rs 1.42 crore in capex for the current fiscal or else pay higher dividends to help boost sagging economy.
PMO will closely monitor capital investments and project implementation by the 23 public sector units (PSUs), sources with direct knowledge of the development said.
Pulok Chatterji, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, today took a review meeting of capital investment in projects by public sector firms and decided to add seven more, including Nuclear Power Corp, to the list of those monitored for project implementation and spending.
"In the meeting held in PMO today, the capex plans for important CPSEs were finalised... The capex target set for 2013-14 is Rs 141,912 crore. This has been broken up into quarterly targets," an official release said.
The PMO has been monitoring capex and investment plans of some 17 major CPSEs since last fiscal to enhance investment in the economy, utilising their substantial cash surpluses.
"Seven CPSEs were added to the list of CPSEs being monitored and for 2013-14. The new CPSEs added are Manganese Ore India, RINL, SJVN, Bharat Dynamics, HAL, Mazagaon Docks and Nuclear Power Corporation," it added.
The identified 17 CPSEs including ONGC, Oil India, GAIL, Indian Oil, MRPL, SAIL, NMDC, Powergrid, NHPC, NTPC, Coal India, Neyveli Lignite Corp and NALCO had set an ambitious Rs 141,389 crore last fiscal and achieved almost 80 of target.
"The capex target set for FY'14 is Rs 141,912 crore. This has been broken up into quarterly targets," the release said.
The PMO asked the attending heads of cash-rich CPSEs and secretaries concerned to work towards fulfilling and exceeding the targets as this was "extremely important for the economy".
"The progress in achieving these targets would be monitored on a quarterly basis by the PMO to ensure that there are no slippages," it said, adding that in case of any issue relating to clearances, CPSE CMDs were asked to bring these to the notice of the Cabinet Committee on Investment.
A source present in the meeting said: "CPSEs have been asked to adhere to their commitments of investment and take steps so that respective targets are fulfilled, particularly for the first two quarters of the current fiscal."
"Those which fail to achieve the target will have to pay higher dividend during the period so that the idle funds can be used elsewhere to ensure growth and job creation," the source added.