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MPs slam slashing of budgetary allocation to New and Renewable Energy

According to reports, a group of MPs today slammed the “dismal budgetary” allocation to New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) ministry in the interim budget saying it puts a serious question on the implementation of existing and planned renewable energy programmes.

“There is a significant reduction in the Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) allocated to MNRE this year, as compared to last year, putting a serious question on the implementation of existing and planned renewable energy programmes,” Climate Parliament, a cross party network of MPs working to promote renewable energy in India said.

The statement said that MNRE this year has received an allocation of only Rs 441 crores, which is less than one third of the allocation in the previous financial year which was Rs 1,521 crores.

“This dismal budgetary allocation is a reflection of a lack of balanced approach by the government. While much focus is being given to solar, growth of other technologies like wind and biomass can get jeopardised,” Baishnab Parida a Climate Parliament MP said.

The MPs highlighted that irrespective of the high allocation in the budget, the MNRE in actual just received nearly 426.5 crores as budgetary support (GBS) during the last year.

“This could also negatively impact the timely disbursements of capital subsidies under the different ministry schemes. It needs to be ensured that this decreased budget does not affect the implementation of the existing schemes, especially the ones operating in rural areas,” Parida said.

The budget included positive provisions for solar energy development but on the whole it has been unsatisfactory in terms of overall renewable energy promotion in country, the statement said.

Raising questions about the loss in focus of the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF), the Climate Parliament also said that using the fund as source for meeting the budgetary deficits of MNRE “does not seem suitable”.

“The NCEF was established for funding research and innovative projects in clean energy technology. The focus of utilisation of this fund is shifting from the purpose for which it was created,” KP Ramalingam, another Climate Parliament MP said.

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