Private investments are driving growth in sectors like renewable energy: FM Nirmala Sitharaman – The Hindu BusinessLine

Clipped from:

Finance Secretary rules out direct overseas borrowing by government

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks at a dialogue organised by Doordarshan on ‘Amrit Kaal’ Budget of the Union Government in Hyderabad on Thursday, February 16, 2023

Dispelling any concerns on whether private sector investments are happening in the country or not, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that rapid growth in certain sectors like renewable energy is happening because of private sector investments.

Sitharaman, who was in Hyderabad with her team for post-budget interaction with stakeholders as well as DD Dialogue #AmritkaalBudget Conclave.

Responding to a question at the DD Dialogue on whether the States will match the consistent capital expenditure increase which the Union Government has been doing and whether the increase in capital expenditure has resulted in crowding of private sector investments, she said, ”The pace at which the renewable energy sector is moving, it cannot happen without private investment. This investment is basically aimed at increasing the existing capacities and also attracting new industries into the sunrise sector.”

Interest for grants

Regarding States she said, “States are showing a lot of interest and asking for more than what has been given by the Finance Commission.”

She went on to explain, “eighty per cent of all those grants are unconditional, but what is notable is that States are picking those grants too which are conditional, and performing well. In the first year (when grants were extended with conditions), we were doubtful. But, many States have joined and are performing.”

Related Stories
In many cases, more funds have been disbursed than collected: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister dismissed the allegations of Telangana Government that the Centre had stifled the States by imposing restrictions on their borrowing limits


On the issue of whether the government will directly go for overseas borrowing, the Union Finance Secretary, TV Somanathan, at the stakeholders meet, ruled out the idea.

“The answer is, no. There are some benefits, but there are also some negative effects which include exposure to risks. In a volatile world, even a central bank’s money can be stopped by a foreign country for political reasons. This is not a very simple question of yields alone,” he said adding, “We are already open to foreign portfolio investment in rupee-denominated securities..”

 On the overall Budget, she said, it was focused to keep the growth momentum and sustain measures to promote growth despite the challenges faced due to fuel price, food and fertilizers.

Focus on formalising economy

Ealier at the stakeholders interaction she asserted that the Centre is firm on formalising the economy and ruled out giving exemptions on tax on prize monies and asked the industry not to ask for TDS concessions.

 “If you start asking for TDS concessions, this country will never get formalised. (A number of) transactions happen, but we don’t know whether the money goes with the TDS. We should know who is the giver and who is the taker,” she stressed.

Answering a query on deferred payments to MSMEs, Finance Secretary said that there was a significant Budgetary announcement that proposed changes to the Income Tax Act to ensure payments to MSMEs.

“An amendment is being brought to the Income Tax Act by which if the payment is not made to an MSME then that amount can’t be deducted by the paying organisation until the payment is made on time,” he said adding, “If they don’t pay on time, this expense will be disallowed until such time,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s