New Delhi: Most state-run oil PSUs have spent nearly 25 percent of their capex for FY21 in the period between April and August, government data shows. This is important because the five-month data denotes almost half of the current financial year, which means that the oil PSUs have only six more months now to spend the lion's share of the capex plan — 75 percent. The total planned capex for the FY2020-21 for the oil PSU sector stands at Rs 98,522 crore, according to official data.
The capex plans for FY21 assume significance because the government has asked state-run companies to increase spending in order to revive the economy in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centre is closely watching the expenditure and has clearly instructed the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) to assist PSUs in planning the expenditure. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has conducted several review meetings with PSUs from various sectors since May.
According to the data, state-run oil exploration and production (E&P) companies ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) have spent the highest percentage of their capex plans among oil PSUs. While ONGC Videsh has spent 36 percent, OIL has spent 32 percent until August. Next up is Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), which has spent 27 percent of its planned expenditure of Rs 32,502 crore.
GAIL (India) Limited has spent 23 percent, HPCL and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) 22 percent each, while disinvestment-bound Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has spent 20 percent.
A few months into the financial year, the oil PSUs had revised their capex targets, in view of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even after the nationwide lockdown has been lifted and economic activities have been resumed, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed execution challenges on the way. The pandemic has disrupted supply chains and also availability of migrant labourers, as they are yet to return to project sites after the exodus earlier this year in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.
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