Tuesday, June 28, 2022

PM-KUSUM: Govt to mull raising capacity of agriculture pumps from 7.5 HP to 15 HP

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  • State authorities pointed out that a major hurdle in the implementation of the PM-KUSUM scheme is the low capacity of agriculture pumps provided to farmers under the scheme
  • Under Component B of PM-KUSUM scheme, financial assistance is only provided for solar agriculture pumps of capacity 7.5 HP

New Delhi: Union Minister for Power RK Singh assured states that the ministry will consider increasing the capacity of agriculture pumps offered under the Component B of PM-KUSUM scheme from 7.5 HP to 15 HP or above. At the Review, Planning and Monitoring (RPM) meeting held on Friday, state authorities pointed out that a major hurdle in the implementation of the PM-KUSUM scheme is the low capacity of agriculture pumps provided to farmers under the scheme. In several states where the water table is low, agriculture pumps of 30 HP or higher is required to draw water, the states complained.

Since under Component B of PM-KUSUM scheme, financial assistance is only provided for solar agriculture pumps of capacity 7.5 HP, pumps of higher capacity prove costly for farmers, which affects the adoption of the scheme, the states told the Power Minister.

Will consider bringing various categories of pumps under PM-KUSUM scheme: RK Singh

On being told that the requirement of solar agriculture pump capacities is different for different states, the minister assured states that the government will consider bringing various categories of capacities under the PM-KUSUM scheme. “We will consider raising the capacity of pumps for which financial assistance is provided under PM-KUSUM scheme from 7.5 HP to 15 HP or even higher. Or we can also consider having different categories of capacities under the scheme to suit the requirements of various states,” said Singh.

At present, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) of 30 percent of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower is provided by the Centre for standalone solar agriculture pumps installed under Component B of PM-KUSUM scheme. The state government subsidises 30 percent of the cost and the remaining 40 percent is to be borne by the farmer. In North Eastern states, Sikkim, J&K, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, CFA of 50 percent is provided, state government subsidises 30 percent of the cost and the remaining 20 percent is borne by the farmer.

Availability of loans under PM-KUSUM scheme

High rates of interest being charged by public sector banks on loans availed by states under PM-KUSUM scheme was another problem flagged by states at the meeting. The minister told the states that the issue will be taken up at a meeting which the Ministry of Power is scheduled to hold with public sector banks and the Ministry of Finance on December 22. 

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