MNRE’s move to stall JNNSM scheme draws flak
Jayarama Emani | The Dollar Business President of SESI (Solar Energy Society of India), Ajay Prakash Shrivastava, expressed his displeasure over The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) reported move to stop commercial banks from giving loans for installing solar home lighting system under the subsidy scheme since it is burdened with pending subsidy claims. The ‘solar home lighting system’ scheme is a bank loan cum capital subsidy scheme mooted as part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) that is funded through the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and its branches. Speaking to The Dollar Business, Shrivastava said, “This is really a sad news for Solar Energy Sector especially for the rural areas and a very negative move by the Government. 30% of our population, mainly in the villages does not have access to electricity. This program of MNRE is a very good program for people living in villages because the villagers can afford installing a solar system with financial support from NABARD. If the Government wants to stop NABARD then they must find some other schemes for the villagers. Sudden stoppage of the scheme has a negative impact for the villagers and suppliers of the solar systems.” The JNNSM was launched on the January 11, 2010. The Mission has set a target of deploying 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 and aims at reducing the cost of solar power generation in the country. The first phase of National Solar Mission (NSM) focused on capturing the low hanging options in solar: on promoting off-grid systems to serve rural populations and a modest capacity addition in grid-based systems. This was partly envisaged as a learning experience for the further, ambitious goals. In the second phase, an aggressive capacity ramp-up was targeted. The aim was to create favourable conditions for up-scaled and competitive solar energy penetration in both at the centralized and decentralized levels. When contacted, officials of NABARD told The Dollar Business, that the Chairman was not available to comment on this recent development.
This article was published on March 19, 2015.