Punjab demands Centre to give financial assistance to set up solar-enabled agriculture pump sets

Minister writes to Centre to include the State under the ambit of the PM-KUSUM Scheme

October 01, 2022 09:39 pm | Updated 09:39 pm IST - CHANDIGARH

File image of farmers and a solar-powered agriculture pump set.

File image of farmers and a solar-powered agriculture pump set. | Photo Credit: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

The Punjab Government has sought Central Financial Assistance (CFA) under the PM-KUSUM Scheme to facilitate solar-enabled agriculture pump sets up to 15 Horse Power (HP) capacity in the State.

In his letter to R.K. Singh, Minister for Power and New-Renewable Energy (GoI), the State’s New and Renewable Energy Sources Minister Aman Arora pointed out that Punjab had been kept out of the ambit of the scheme. He said though the Centre made a provision for providing CFA to the farmers of the northeast and hilly States for agriculture pumps up to 15HP capacity on August 1, 2022, the facility is available only for agri-pumps up to 7.5HP in Punjab.

“Punjab was the pioneer State in Green Revolution, and is rightly known as the food bowl of India. Thus, farmers of the State deserve to avail the benefits of the scheme. Punjab is predominantly an agrarian State, and around 14 lakh electric motor pumps and 1.50 lakh diesel pump sets are used for irrigation in the State,” he said.

The Minister said the capacity of the majority of pumps ranges from 10HP to 15HP in the State. “The cost to solarise these pumps would be very high and out of the reach of the farmers. Hence, the CFA is required to be provided for higher capacity pumps,” he added.

He pointed out that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has been providing 30% CFA for solarisation of pump sets of capacity up to 7.5HP under Component-B and C of the PM-KUSUM Scheme. The MNRE has allocated targets for solarisation of 50,000 off grid solar pumps under Component-B and 1.25 lakh electric motor pump sets under Component-C to Punjab.

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