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PM-KUSUM Update: Center Likely to Shift Focus from Pump to Agri Feeder

The center has recently announced a little modification to an existing component of PM-KUSUM scheme which introduces solar powered agricultural pumps into rural India to eradicate water problems.

Pronami Chetia

The center has recently announced a little modification to an existing component of PM-KUSUM scheme which introduces solar powered agricultural pumps into rural India to eradicate water problems. 

As per report, government is doing so to channelize its focus on solarising agricultural feeders instead of pumps. This move would obviate the need for farmers to replace every existing pump in a village with a solar pump. 

PM- KUSUM Scheme 

Aiming to reach the target of farmer’s doubling income by 2022, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) scheme will be expanded to cover 20 lakh farmers across the nation said Finanace Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.The Solar Pump Yojana which promises to fulfill the irrigation and water problems by providing a 60% subsidy to the farmer for setting up pump sets and tube wells was initially intended to cover 17.5 lakh farmers.  

As per report, it will now bear 30 per cent of the cost of building a small solar plant to supply electricity to the agricultural feeder, which essentially supplies electricity to all the pumps in a village.  

Hitherto, under component C – which has now been changed – of the PM-KUSUM scheme, farmers were being provided 30 per cent subsidy from the Centre and another 30 per cent from their State government to replace their existing grid connected agricultural pumps with grid connected solar pumps. 

“Now it was being felt that since farmers are not charged for the electricity supplied to agricultural pumps, being asked to pay 40 per cent of the cost of a solar pump was still not attractive enough for them, despite the offer of selling unused solar electricity generated by the pump to distribution companies,” said an official at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Under this new sub-scheme, the Centre will bear 30 per cent of the cost of building a small solar plant to supply electricity to the feeder, eliminating the need to replace every existing pump with a solar pump. 

On the other hand, the official said that state-owned discoms are expected to pay the balance 70 per cent of the cost. 

Discoms currently procure power at about ₹6 per unit. The solar plant at feeder level will bring this down approximately to ₹2 per unit. So discoms will be able to recover their investment in 4.5 years”. 

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