The finance minister announced that the power and renewable sector would together be allocated Rs 22,000 crore, but it is not clear how and where this humongous budget will be utilised.
The Union Budget 2020 had something for almost everyone including the renewable industry. Tax reforms, budget allocations across categories and the promise of a simplified GST scheme made it appear holistic on the surface, but the budget proved to be a mixed bag without any radical solutions to the dwindling economy.
The expansion of ‘PM KUSUM Yojna’ would not only add to the solar power generation in the country but it would also aid the farmers in attaining a better livelihood. The grid-connected solar farms should help in reducing the dependency on thermal and other non-renewable sources of energy, and the installed capacity in solar should grow significantly with the installation of solar panels in the land adjacent to railway tracks as proposed. The lower tax rates to utilities and power producers will encourage inclination towards renewable energy.
Further, the finance minister announced that the power and renewable sector would together be allocated Rs 22,000 crore, but the question arises that how and where will this humongous budget be utilised. Furthermore, the Rs 4400 crore fund set aside for climate change management is in line with the government’s commitment to the Paris agreement. Air pollution and climate change have become a greater health concern in the past few years and this move by the government should help address these growing challenges in the future. A notable announcement in the direction was also shutting down old thermal power plants, which may add impetus to adding solar power, as a clean source of energy.