Maharashtra 1 Lakh Solar Powered Agricultural Water Pumps
The Maharashtra Government has cleared that the additional burden will be raised through off-budget borrowings or by raising taxes on electricity for all consumers. The Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) is the nodal agency for the solar project. The state government is working out on the estimates following directives issued by CM Devendra Fadnavis in this regard on 3 October 2018.
Solar Water Pumps to 1 Lakh Farmers in Maharashtra
The state government will have to bear a huge burden of the distribution of solar-powered agricultural water pumps to 1 lakh farmers. Therefore, the state government has planned to split the implementation of the state-sponsored project over 2 financial years in order to reduce the annual burden. Thethe MEDA has proposed the distribution of 50,000 agriculture pumps in 2018-19 and an equal number in 2019-20 to reduce the annual burden to Rs. 1713 crore.
The Mahasrashtra Government can absorb Rs. 434 crore which includes usage of budgeted funds from the general budget (Rs 67 crore), the tribal sub-plan (Rs 150 crore), and the SC/ST sub-plan (Rs 217 crore). But still there remains a shortage of Rs. 1279 crore for which govt. is considering 3 options i.e. –
- Raising taxes on the sale of electricity – According to the MEDA calculations, the state government will have to raise the taxes on the sale of electricity universally by Rs. 12 paise per unit consumed.
- Procurement of short-term low interest loan from NABARD – The Maharashtra Government is actively considering to procure a short-term low-interest loan from the National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD).
- Tie-Up with Centre’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) – The state government is also exploring the option of having a tie-up with the Centre’s Energy Efficiency Limited (EESL) for the implementation of the project and gap-funding. EESL can be paid for its services on the annual installment basis.