TAD NewsDesk, New Delhi: Central government’s Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan, popularly known as PM Kusum yojana was launched with the aim of helping farmers to get some extra income from their infertile and semi-fertile land. The plan was to do this by means of the solar projects but the problem with finance is hindering the project. The Banks are not willing to fund these projects.
Total 170 cultivators have signed deals with discoms to set up solar plants but sadly only 15 have begun working on the projects while the remaining are getting postponed because of lack of funds.
According to a senior official at Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL), the banks are unwilling to fund because of two reasons:
- There are concerns that discoms do not have a good track record of paying for power on time.
- In case of a non-payment, they cannot take away the farmer’s land given the sensitivity of the issue.
“Land is a good collateral. But since these are farmers, their land cannot be seized in case of a default. Banks want other collaterals for funding the projects, but farmers don’t have or give other assets. As per the agreement, discoms buy the power, but the track record of their payments to other projects has been very poor. So bankers are wary of these projects”.
A State Level Banking Committee (SLBC) official told TOI that the boards of the banks have not taken any decision to fund such projects.
One official who wanted to remain anonymous said,
“We have had a discussion on backing these projects but unless our boards decide & take a decision, we cannot lend to these projects”.
The PM-Kusum Yojana was launched in March 2019. Rajasthan was the first state in India to invite expression of interest from the farmers & complete the application process by March 2020.
Out of the 623 cultivators who were selected based on their application, 201 have submitted the security money at Rs 5 lakh per megawatt. But only 170 have inked agreements with the discoms.
The industry feels that the price set up by Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission at Rs 3.14 paisa / unit of power for these projects is very less as the size of the projects are very small. Collaboration from Investors side for these projects will also be well received.
Source: Krishi Jagran