ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Kick-starting the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan

The Union Budget 2018 announced the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan, a scheme to replace diesel pumps and grid-connected electric tube wells for irrigation with solar irrigation pumps, including a buy-back arrangement for farmers’ surplus solar energy at a remunerative price. KUSUM can be a game changer as it can check groundwater over-exploitation, offer farmers uninterrupted daytime power supply, reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture, curtail the farm power subsidy burden, and provide a new source of risk-free income for farmers.

In his 2018 budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley outlined the contours of the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM), a new scheme to subsidise solar irrigation pumps (SIPs) for farmers, with the option to sell surplus power to distribution companies (DISCOMs) (Economic Times 2018). KUSUM would entail a total outlay of ₹1,40,000 crore over 10 years, of which the central government is to contribute ₹48,000 crore (ET Energy World 2018). Farmers are to contribute 10% of the capital cost upfront and cover 30% by bank loans, while the remaining 60% is to be borne equally by a subsidy provided by the union government and respective state governments.

Economics and Ecology of SIPs

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Updated On : 24th Aug, 2018

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