PM KUSUM (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan) is a demand-driven scheme that allocates capacities based on the demand received from the states. The government targets the installation of 20 lakh standalone solar agriculture pumps and the solarisation of 15 lakh grid-connected agriculture pumps under this scheme.
The minister of new & renewable energy and power, R.K. Singh, shared in the parliament this week that as of June 30, 2023, 244,373 solar pumps have been installed against the allocation of 947,991. Further, an existing 1,519 grid-connected agriculture pumps have been solarized.
The minister cited the availability of low-cost finance for farmers and states’ share of funds as a major challenge in the implementation of the PM-KUSUM Scheme. He said the pace of implementation was also significantly affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020-21 and 2021-22.
Under the PM KUSUM Scheme, individual farmers are provided financial support to install standalone solar agriculture pumps of up to 7.5 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.
Similarly, individual farmers having grid-connected agriculture pumps are supported to solarize their pumps. The farmer can use the generated solar power to meet the irrigation needs and sell the excess solar power to DISCOMs at a pre-fixed tariff.
In both cases, the government provides central financial assistance (CFA) of 30% of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower. State Government subsidy is 30% and the remaining 40% is to be borne by the farmer.
In North Eastern States, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, CFA is higher at 50% and state government subsidy 30%. The remaining 20% is to be borne by the farmer.
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