The First Minister spoke out after official figures revealed Scotland had followed the UK back into recession, with a dramatic collapse in the construction sector driving the double dip.
He said targeting the money at public building projects in Scotland this year would halt the decline in construction and move it to growth.
He added: "It is clear the UK Government's austerity agenda and the Prime Minister's failure to heed calls for direct investment in construction and infrastructure is hampering progress."
He also urged the Chancellor to offer VAT relief on home improvements to stimulate construction.
Scottish GDP fell 0.1% between January and March against the previous quarter, the same drop it experienced in the final quarter of 2011.
The technical definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth.
The overall shrinkage was less than that for the UK, where the comparable figures fell by 0.7% over the same six-month period.
However, longer-term data showed Scotland lagging in growth, with the economy expanding a feeble 0.2% year-on-year, while the UK grew 0.6%.
Construction continued to be the biggest drag on the Scottish economy.
A slowdown in public works and housebuilding saw output fall 6.9% at the start of 2012, almost triple the 2.8% drop of the previous quarter. The Scottish Building Federation described the situation as a "crisis".
Ignoring construction, the rest of the Scottish economy actually grew 0.3% from January to March, with the service and production sectors up 0.2% and 1.2% respectively.
The Scottish GDP figures, produced later than those for the UK, where the double dip was confirmed in April, emerged on the same day as more positive unemployment statistics.
In the three months to May, unemployment fell 4000 to 215,000, lowering the rate from 8.1% to 8%, while employment rose 9000, increasing the rate among those aged 16 to 64 from 71.3% to 71.4%.
Employment among 16-24-year-olds also rose fractionally, taking the youth employment rate to 54.5%, compared to 49.1% for the UK.
The UK jobless total fell 65,000 to 2.58 million, making the rate 8.1%, while employment rose 181,000 to 29.35 million, or 70.7% of those aged 16 to 64.
Mr Salmond said the employment and GDP statistics showed the Scottish economy was exhibiting "greater resilience" than the UK, but admitted it was still bumping along the bottom.
Michael Levack, chief executive of the Scottish Building Federation, said Scottish construction was in crisis after six quarters of stagnation.
"Such a dramatic slump requires radical action to turn things around. That's why we give our full backing to the calls the First Minister is now making on the UK Treasury to release £400m in direct capital spending this financial year."
The Scottish Tories said the SNP Government was partly to blame, by "slashing the housing budget".
Scottish Labour MP Cathy Jamieson added: "The Salmond slump is taking a real toll, with 10,000 people joining the dole last year."
Iain McMillan, director of CBI Scotland, said the GDP figures were "sobering reading" and a reminder that recovery would be slow and hard.
STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said the rise in employment masked a switch to lower-quality, part-time jobs.