The PMO is mainly worried with the enormous delays being faced by infrastructure projects.
New Delhi: With the implementation of goods and service tax (GST) regime having hit the exports hard and more than 200 big ticket projects worth Rs 9 lakh crore stuck at various stages, a concerned Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sought views from top officials of key economic ministries on how to boost the economy during the current fiscal.
Highly-placed sources informed this newspaper that secretaries from ministries like power, coal, mining, steel and road and highways have been called for a brainstorming session on May 5 in the PMO to find out ways to improve the economic scenario even as the BJP-led NDA has begun preparations to take a shot at a second term at the Centre.
The officials are learnt to have been asked to prepare a blueprint of the future roadmap of their respective sectors, which could be discussed threadbare during the meeting, sources informed further.
Key challenges before the government in the last leg of its tenure are lack of jobs, fall in exports owing to the implementation of the GST regime, poor foreign investments and a flat trajectory in the manufacturing sector. However, what seems to have left the top echelons of the government with furrowed brows is the latest figures on core sectors which released earlier this week.
According to the data released by the government on May 1, infrastructure growth recorded a sluggish growth and in fact hit a three-year low of 4.2 per cent during 2017-18. This was mainly due to poor growth in coal, steel and power sectors during the recently ended fiscal.
While as per advanced estimates, the economic growth is expected to be around 6.6 per cent for the fiscal ending March 31, 2018, the aforementioned challenges have left the Centre more worried as these will have an impact on the current fiscal.
The PMO is mainly worried with the enormous delays being faced by infrastructure projects. This newspaper had reported on April 9, that a total of 217 big-ticket projects worth Rs 9 lakh crore are stuck at various stages of implementation.
Significantly, all these projects are under the watch of PMO and the largest number of projects belong to the railways, highways and the power sector. The largest number of 59 projects lying pending are in the railway sector and their total worth is Rs 2 lakh crore. These are followed by 57 highways projects worth Rs 1.36 lakh crore which are yet to be completed.