- The finance ministry has agreed to allow CFA for solar pumps up to 15 HP capacity in the north-eastern and Himalayan states, the MoS for New and Renewable Energy told RS
- However, the total number of pumps of higher capacity will not be more than 10 percent of the total allocation in these areas, the minister said
New Delhi: Yielding to a long-standing demand from the industry, the government has agreed to extend Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to PM-KUSUM beneficiaries for solar pumps of up to 15 HP (horse power) capacity in the north-eastern and Himalayan states, the Parliament was informed on Tuesday. In a written response to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State (MoS) for New and Renewable Energy Bhagwanth Khuba said, “The finance ministry has agreed to allow CFA for solar pumps up to 15 HP capacity in the north-eastern and Himalayan states, considering their topography, and also for community farming in high water table areas with the restriction that the total number of pumps of higher capacity will not be more than 10 percent of the total allocation.”
PM-KUSUM scheme: Centre provides CFA for solar pumps of up to 7.5 HP
Under the B component, individual farmers are supported to install standalone solar agriculture pumps of capacity up to 7.5 Horse Power (HP) for replacement of existing diesel agriculture pumps/irrigation systems in off-grid areas, where grid supply is not available.
Pumps of capacity higher than 7.5 HP can also be installed, however, the financial support is limited to 7.5 HP capacity. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) Scheme was launched in 2019 with a view to decarbonise the agriculture sector via replacement of diesel pumps.
At a Review, Planning and Monitoring (RPM) meeting held in December 2021, Union Minister for Power RK Singh had 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, PSU Watch had reported. State authorities had 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 had complained.
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.
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