The Punjab government has sought financial assistance from the Center for solarization of agricultural pumps of up to 15 horse power on the model of the North Eastern and Hill States.
In a letter written to RK Singh, Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy, Punjab Minister Aman Arora said that the ministry has made a provision to provide central financial assistance (CFA) to farmers of North Eastern and Hill States for their pumps up to 15 Capacity of HP last month.
But this capacity is available only for agro-pumps up to 7.5 HP in Punjab, he pointed out.
Financial assistance is given under PM-KUSUM (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan) scheme.
“Punjab was the pioneer state in the green revolution, which is rightly known as the food bowl of India. Thus, the farmers in the state also need hand holding from the central government and they also deserve to reap the benefits of the scheme.
“Punjab is a predominantly agrarian state and about 14 lakh electric motor pumps and 1.50 lakh diesel pump sets are used for irrigation in the state,” Arora said in the letter.
The minister said that the capacity of most of the pumps ranges from 10 HP to 15 HP in the state.
The cost of solarizing these pumps would be very high and beyond the reach of farmers. Hence, to bring the cost of these pumps within the purview of farmers, financial assistance is needed for pumps with higher capacity, he said.
In the letter, he mentioned that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is providing 30 per cent CFA for solarization of agricultural pump sets of up to 7.5 HP capacity under the PM-KUSUM scheme.