Cabinet to vet Rs 48K crore KUSUM scheme for solar power by March
The Rs 48,000-crore KUSUM scheme to promote the use of solar power among farmers would be placed before the Cabinet by next month, New and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh said.
KUSUM (Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan) aims to incentivise farmers to run solar farm water pumps and use barren land for generating solar power to have extra income. The total cost of the capacities under this scheme would be Rs 1.4 lakh crore. The Centre will provide Rs 48,000 crore financial assistance under the scheme.
“The scheme is ready…It should go to the Cabinet in the next 20 days,” Singh told reporters on the sidelines of International R&D Conclave here.
KUSUM will also improve the present scheme for rooftop solar systems. The government is enlarging the scope of the existing scheme and its mechanism, he said adding that the government is thinking of beginning KUSUM with 7.5 lakh solar pumps.
“We are packaging the scheme in such a way that farmers also get extra income by having extra solar capacity which can be fed into the grid. We are executing it through discoms so that the reach is better,” the minister said.
As much as 30 per cent of the cost of solar pumps was provided by the government in the earlier scheme. The new scheme would be more broad-based like incentives for discoms to buy power from farmers and financial assistance of 60 per cent to buy solar pumps which would be equally shared by the Centre and state.