Outlining the future course of action for the power sector post Budget 2018, the Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy Raj Kumar Singh reaffirmed 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,” He added, “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 stated.
Elaborating on the farmer focus of the Budget 2018, Singh said that the it has a given a fillip to the farmer oriented scheme involving decentralised solar power production up to 28250 MW over a period of five years, known as KUSUM (The KisanUrja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan Scheme. “The 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 promoting decentralised solar power production, reducing transmission losses, supporting the financial health of DISCOMs by reducing the burden of subsidy to the agriculture sector, supporting states to meet the RPOs targets, promoting energy efficiency and water conservation, providing water security to farmers through provision of assured water sources through solar water pumps – both off-grid and grid connected, providing reliable power to utilise the irrigation potential created by state irrigation departments, and filling the void in solar power production in the intermediate range between roof tops and large parks.