ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Kick-starting the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan

The Union Budget 2018 announced the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan, a scheme to replace diesel pumps and grid-connected electric tube wells for irrigation with solar irrigation pumps, including a buy-back arrangement for farmers’ surplus solar energy at a remunerative price. KUSUM can be a game changer as it can check groundwater over-exploitation, offer farmers uninterrupted daytime power supply, reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture, curtail the farm power subsidy burden, and provide a new source of risk-free income for farmers.

A version of this article has previously appeared in the IWMI–Tata Program’s Water Policy Research Highlight # 1 (“Kick-starting KUSUM [Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan],” 6 July 2018).

The author would like to thank Shilp Verma for providing critical comments on the article.

In his 2018 budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley outlined the contours of the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM), a new scheme to subsidise solar irrigation pumps (SIPs) for farmers, with the option to sell surplus power to distribution companies (DISCOMs) (Economic Times 2018). KUSUM would entail a total outlay of ₹1,40,000 crore over 10 years, of which the central government is to contribute ₹48,000 crore (ET Energy World 2018). Farmers are to contribute 10% of the capital cost upfront and cover 30% by bank loans, while the remaining 60% is to be borne equally by a subsidy provided by the union government and respective state governments.

Economics and Ecology of SIPs

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Updated On : 24th Aug, 2018
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