Union Power Minister R K Singh
Union Power Minister R K Singh on Wednesday exuded confidence that the second version of production linked incentive (PLI-II) scheme for solar manufacturing worth Rs 19,500 crore, will help save close to Rs 1.4 lakh crore forex every year.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, approved the implementation of the Production Linked Incentive Scheme (Tranche II) on National programme on High-Efficiency Solar PV Modules', with an outlay of Rs 19,500 crore for achieving a manufacturing capacity of 65 Giga Watt (GW) scale in High-Efficiency Solar PV Modules.
The government has expanded the scope under PLI-II as the domestic manufacturing capacity will also boost exports. The PLI-I for solar modules was worth Rs 4,500 crore, which was brought with intent to meet domestic requirement mainly as India has been importing solar equipment.
"This (PLI-II for solar module) will lead to a saving of Rs 1.40 lakh crore saving because of domestic manufacturing. And it will also result in a huge quantity of inflows on account of exports," Singh told reporters on the sideline of the launch of 'Agni' campaign here.
One of the the benefits expected from the PLI scheme is that about 65,000 MW per annum manufacturing capacity of fully and partially integrated solar PV modules would be installed.
The scheme is expected to create direct employment of about 1,95,000 and indirect employment for around 7,80,000 people. Besides the scheme will bring a direct investment of around Rs 94,000 crore.
The national programme on high-efficiency solar PV modules aims to build an ecosystem for manufacturing of high-efficiency solar PV modules in India, and thus reduce import dependence in the area of renewable energy. It will strengthen the Atamnirbhar Bharat initiative and generate employment.
Solar PV manufacturers will be selected through a transparent selection process. PLI will be disbursed for five years post commissioning of solar PV manufacturing plants on sales of high-efficiency solar PV modules from the domestic market will be incentivised.
The minister told that the first round PLI-I was worth Rs 4,500 crore for 8,700 MW of manufacturing capacity.
The PLL-II was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech on February 1, 2022. Asked about his view of free power being provided by some states, Singh said, "I haven't spoken against free power... So, if state governments pay for the subsidies they have announced in their budget absolutely no problem, you can give free power to everybody. The state government will have to pay for it."
He also said that the states owe their discoms about Rs 1.35 lakh crore on account of subsidy dues (for providing free power).
"The problem is in a large number of states. In fact, most of the states whose figures I have seen, (they) don't have the money to pay for the free power, which they have announced. They are taking loans for giving free power. So they are burning their state with additional debt which will have to be paid by later generations," he added.
He pointed out that the revenue inflows are eaten up by salaries, pensions and repayment of past loans and interest of past loans.
"Whatever(development) work they do, they do by borrowing. This is what is making the states more and more indebted," he stated.
Commenting on the PLI-II for solar modules, Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII said,"The government focus on R&D will further enhance the efficiency of the solar PV modules and simultaneously indigenize technology and help in raw material selection. Coming ahead of the Fifth General Assembly, the announcement of the PLI-II will help projecting India as a strategic partner in the energy transition.
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First Published: Sep 21 2022 | 7:39 PM IST