Government of India urges lenders to fund renewable energy projects

The Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri RK Singh, has urged the lenders including banks and financial institutions to invest liberally in renewable energy projects.

The minister held a meeting to review various issues pertaining to the Renewable Energy (RE) sector. The meeting was attended by various stakeholders including the Secretary, MNRE, senior officials from MNRE, Department of Economic Affairs, Dept. of Expenditure, Dept. of Financial Services, Dept. of Revenue and representatives of Public/Private banks and Financial Institutions.

In the meeting, it was decided that MNRE would follow up with RBI for removal of the priority sector lending limit for RE sector. This will encourage the PSBs to lend more for RE projects and help RE developers access easy finance.

The minister also asked Banks and Financial Institutes to categorize RE as separate sector – different from power sector – so that funds would flow easily to RE projects. He further said that current tariff rates discovered for various RE projects are viable as the maintenance and running cost of RE projects is very less in the long run.

Tackling the issue of delays in land acquisition for RE projects, the Minister said that SECI (Solar Energy Corporation of India) will be tying up with State Governments for the land. As the land will be on lease, there won’t be any upfront payment for the land. It will also tie up transmission while floating bids, the minister announced. Banks and Financial Institutions have been asked to tie up with SECI for offering pre-determined loans to successful bidders.

Discussions were held about the GST issues on RE equipment and components. The Department of Revenue was requested to place appropriate proposal before the GST council. The Minister said that every measure possible needs to be taken to promote manufacturing in RE sector in the country, including corrections of duty structure and approval of a scheme to provide capital subsidy. The Ministry is now planning to start a pilot project to promote solar cooking in the households.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *