Cabinet nod for long-pending KUSUM, 40GW solar rooftop schemes

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Tuesday approved two schemes for promotion of solar power — one for the agriculture sector and the other for rooftops. 

The long-pending KUSUM scheme (Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan) was approved by the CCEA. 

The scheme consists of three components: 1. Setting up 10 GW grid-connected renewable power plants, each of 500KW to 2MW in rural areas; 2. Installation of 1.75 million standalone off-grid solar water pumps to fulfill irrigation needs of farmers not connected to the grid; and 3. Solarisation of existing 1 million grid-connected agriculture pumps to make farmers independent of the grid supply and also sell surplus power to distribution companies and get extra income.


With all three, the scheme aims to add solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.

The total central financial support provided under the scheme would be Rs 34,422 crore, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while addressing the media after the meeting of the Union Cabinet.

KUSUM was announced in the Union Budget 2018 and was mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech last year. He had said this scheme would help farmers save on fuel and augment their income. 

“We have rolled out the solar farming scheme. Farmers can now earn money from farming and at the same time earn by selling the extra solar power generated at their farms,” he had said.

The scheme was announced with a total outlay of Rs 1.4 trillion, including budgetary support of Rs 48,000 crore over a period of 10 years. It provides 60 per cent of the cost of system as subsidy and the balance as a bank loan to the farmers.

The CCEA also approved the second phase of the grid-connected rooftop solar programme for achieving cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from such projects by 2022.  

The programme will be implemented with total central financial support of Rs 11,814 crore.

For improving participation in coal mines auction, the CCEA also approved a methodology that allows an allocatee of coal mines for specified end use or own consumption to sell 25 per cent of actual production on run-of-the-mine basis in the open market with payment of additional premium on such sale. 

The approval was done under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

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