Addressing the media today on proposals in Budget 2018 regarding his Ministries, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh lauded the citizen oriented focus of the document. The Minister congratulated the Union Finance Minister for taking revolutionary steps in facilitating ‘Ease of Living’ and ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in the country.
Shri Singh specifically cited steps like ensuring one and half times the cost of cultivation for the farmers through MSP fixing and bringing over 10 crore poor families under Health cover net by the Government, and termed the Budget 2018 as path breaking in many ways.
Giving the future course for the Power sector post budget, Shri Singh clearly stated that the focus of the Government is ‘24×7 Clean and Affordable Power for All’. This will be made an obligation and will be enacted into an Act soon.
“We will provide electricity connection to each and every household in the country by April, 2019. This budget has given a thrust in this direction”, he added.
Elaborating on the farmer focus of the Budget 2018, Shri Singh highlighted that the it has a given a fillip to the farmer oriented scheme involving decentralized solar power production upto 28250
MW over a period of five years, known as KUSUM Scheme.
The Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme would provide additional income to farmers, by giving them option to sell additional power to the grid, through solar power projects set up on their barren lands, the Minister informed.
Delving further into the objectives of the scheme, the Minister stated the positive outcomes that are expected when it is implemented in full force across the country. These are:
· Promote decentralized solar power production
· Reduce transmission losses
· To support the financial health of DISCOMs by reducing the burden of subsidy to the agriculture sector
· To support States to meet the RPOs targets
· To promote energy efficiency and water conservation
· Provide water security to farmers through provision of assured water sources through solar water pumps – both off-grid and grid connected
· To provide reliable power to utilise the irrigation potential created by state irrigation departments
· To fill the void in solar power production in the intermediate range between roof tops and large parks