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The Times of India
The Times of India

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman asks India Inc to be prime movers in frontier technologies

NEW DELHI: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday asked India Inc to be prime movers in frontier technologies, adding that the government will facilitate the development.

Citing the example of the software industry's success, the minister said it started on its own without any support and the government only came in later.

"Industry should look into itself for its potential and then come up with points at which it wants the government to facilitate, rather than say is the government doing anything about it?," she said at a post-Budget interaction with members of industry body Ficci.

"How did the software sector start in the country? Did they wait for the government? No, they just kept moving and the government saw that it cannot be sitting and watching and came up with quite a few facilitating policies after that," she said.

So, she said, "I would want industry to be the prime mover as regards the latest frontiers in renewable energy, and as regards the latest frontiers in rare earth materials, conversion of all these towards usable technology."

She assured industry that the government will proactively consider their suggestions on various issues.

On capital expenditure utilisation, the finance minister said the government will monitor it on a regular basis and exuded confidence that states too will utilise the funds for promoting infrastructure development.

Compared to the current financial year, the Centre is allocating Rs 1.3 lakh crore to the states in FY'24, which is 30 per cent higher, she noted.

Most of the funds being allocated to states are unconditional.

Sitharaman on Wednesday announced hiking the capital expenditure by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore for infrastructure development for 2023-24, which will be at 3.3 per cent of the GDP.

Presenting the Budget for 2023-24, she had said the newly established infrastructure finance secretariat will assist in attracting more private investment.

"Capital investment outlay is being increased steeply for the third year in a row by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore, which would be 3.3 per cent of GDP," she said.

According to the minister, the Harmonized Master List of Infrastructure will be reviewed by an expert committee for recommending the classification and financing framework suitable for 'Amrit Kaal'.

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