Web Exclusive | February 2018
Farmers to pay only 10% cost of solar pumps under Budget scheme
The country’s farmers are likely to witness government’s generosity owing to the schemes announced in Budget 2018. According to Power Minister R K Singh, the Indian farmer will effectively bear only 10 per cent of cost for solarising his agricultural pump under a scheme unveiled in the Budget 2018-19. Singh, also the New and Renewable Energy Minister, referred to the Rs 1.44 lakh crore scheme for solarising pumps of all farmers proposed by Finance Minster Arun Jaitley while presenting his last full budget before the 2019 general elections. The government will spend Rs 48,000 crore over 10 years as central financial assistance (CFA) on the Kusum scheme which aims to encourage the use of barren land for setting up solar power plants. A similar amount will have to be given by the states and the financing institutions towards Kusum, which is to be put up to the Cabinet for approval, Singh said. He said that the solar panels to be provided will have twice the capacity of a grid one, and so if the capacity of a grid connected pump is 5 horse power, the solar panel will generate twice that. The balance power can then be sold to the grid.