According to reports, the Narendra Modi government may be quite vocal when it comes to its commitment towards clean energy, but when reality bites, it is seen as taking a back seat. The tight finances have forced the government to silently discontinue one of its key subsidy schemes promoting renewable energy.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) wanted commercial banks to stop giving loans for installing solar home lighting system under the subsidy scheme since it is burdened with pending subsidy claims. This bank loan cum capital subsidy scheme was part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). “It’s a temporary withdrawal till the clearing of the pending subsidy,” a senior official of ministry told ET. “The finance department has not released the fund,” he said. ET has learnt that the size of pending claims is Rs 130 crore, which is just about 5% of the annual plan of Rs 2,500 crore to promote renewable energy.
“JNNSM Phase aims to give a major thrust to off-grid solar power in areas where grid has not reached and many parts of the country where electricity supply situation is very poor. If this news is true, it would be negating this objective,” said Debasish Mishra, senior director with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd.