Cabinet approves rooftop solar scheme

Domestic consumers to get generation-based incentive of ₹2 per unit for a period of five years

September 26, 2018 07:35 am | Updated 07:35 am IST - NEW DELHI

(From left) Kailash Gahlot, Satyendar Jain and Rajendra Pal Gautam at a press conference in the Capital on Tuesday.

(From left) Kailash Gahlot, Satyendar Jain and Rajendra Pal Gautam at a press conference in the Capital on Tuesday.

The Delhi Cabinet on Tuesday approved a scheme to promote rooftop solar by giving domestic consumers a generation-based incentive (GBI) of ₹2 per unit for a period of five years.

At a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Power Department’s proposal of the “Mukhyamantri Solar Power Scheme” for domestic consumers was approved, a government statement said.

“Under the Renewable Energy Service Company [RESCO] model, the domestic consumer will not have to spend any money for the installation of solar panels, it will be done by the selected service providers,” the statement said.

Addressing a press conference, Power Minister Satyendar Jain said group housing societies that want to avail of the scheme would not have to pay the installation costs, which would be borne by the company. In addition, the housing society would get a subsidy of ₹2 per unit from the government, meaning the cost of power for them would be ₹1 per unit as the total cost initially would be ₹3 per unit, he said.

He added that the cost of power to the consumer could reduce further, even becoming zero, if the housing society had more space to offer the company to instal panels. Mr. Jain said the subsidy would apply to rooftop solar on individual homes as well, however, the initial cost of the installation would be borne by the homeowner or the company depending on their agreement.

While the Delhi government’s subsidy scheme for rooftop solar has existed for the past three years, officials said now a payment security aspect had been introduced for vendors. If the consumer defaults on the bill, the subsidy amount would be paid to the company, an official said.

The government statement noted that about 100 megawatts (MW) of solar power capacity had been installed in Delhi so far. Of this, around 5MW was in the domestic sector, with eight to 10 group housing societies and some individual consumers availing the subsidy. Of the ₹10 crore amount budgeted for it in 2016-2017 and ₹20 crore in 2017-2018, only ₹2.84 lakh in 2016-2017 and less than ₹50 lakh in 2017-2018 was disbursed, the statement said.

Compensation policy

The Cabinet also approved the Revenue Department’s proposal to extend the scheme for grant of compensation to families of martyrs. Earlier, the ₹1 crore compensation was given to families of Armed forces, Delhi Police and paramilitary forces’ martyrs who were Delhi residents or had died in operation in Delhi. Now, the scheme would be extended to martyrs whose families have been residents of Delhi for at least five years, even if their service record says they themselves belonged to other States, said Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot.

“The amendment was necessitated following the latest incident of the brutal murder of late Head Constable Narender Kumar of the Border Security Force at the India Pakistan International Border. It was noted that the family of late Narender Kumar has been residing in Delhi since many years though his permanent address is of Haryana [sic],” the government statement said.

Support to NGOs

Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said the Cabinet also approved a scheme to offer monetary aid to NGOs that want to mark the death and/or birth anniversaries of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Sant Ravidas and Maharishi Balmiki. A sum of ₹50,000 would be given for each event, he said.

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