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Last Updated : Aug 16, 2018 03:46 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Government's solar plan for farmers hits funding roadblock: Report

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had sought for Rs 28,000 crore to fund the scheme, a request the Finance Ministry declined.

Moneycontrol News 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious solar project for farmers called Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) has been red flagged by the Finance Ministry, Business Standard reported.

The scheme was announced in the last budget wherein farmers would be get loans and subsidy to instal solar water pumps. In his Independence Day speech, Modi said, "We have rolled out the [KUSUM] scheme. Farmers can now earn money from farming and earn extra at the same time by selling the additional solar power generated at their farms."

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The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has asked for Rs 28,000 crore to fund the scheme, a request the finance ministry has declined.

“We have conveyed to MNRE that Rs 280 billion budgetary support for the scheme cannot be given," a senior finance ministry official told Business Standard.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the news.

The finance ministry has asked MNRE to rework the funding to partly finance the scheme through other channels, the report added.

“The allocation for any scheme should accompany a sound financing plan. MNRE has been told to come up with proposals to partly finance the scheme through other means,” the finance ministry official told the paper.

The total cost of the project was pegged at Rs 1.4 lakh crore, which includes budgetary support of Rs 48,000 crore over 10 years. The project needs initial funding of Rs 28,000 crore, according to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

However, the Finance Ministry has reportedly denied to provide the amount for the scheme and asked the MNRE to rework the funding. The MNRE is looking at raise capital through multi-lateral funding agencies, banks and co-operatives.

The report quoted a source as saying, "We have conveyed to MNRE that Rs 280 billion budgetary support for the scheme cannot be given... The allocation for any scheme should accompany a sound financing plan. MNRE has been told to come up with proposals to partly finance the scheme through other means."

Farmers in Gujarat and Maharashtra have already installed solar power pumps.
First Published on Aug 16, 2018 03:44 pm

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