As per the Union Budget 2018-19, the Centre will spend ₹48,000 crore on a ten year scheme. The scheme, called as Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan or simply KUSUM, will be an avenue for the farmers to earn extra income. Under the scheme, the farmers will have the option to sell additional power to the grid through the solar power projects, which will be set up on their barren lands.
As per the Minister of State for Power and New and Renewable Energy, R. K. Singh, the Centre has announced a scheme worth ₹1.4 lakh-crore to promote decentralised solar power production of up to 28,250 MW to assist the farmers. He also said that it will help in de-dieseling the sector as well as the DISCOMS. Currently, India has approximately 30 million farm pumps out of which 10 million pumps run on diesel.
The Minister said once the scheme is fully implemented across the country, it will promote decentralised solar power production, reduce transmission losses and support the financial health of DISCOMs by reducing the subsidy burden on the agriculture sector. The scheme would also promote energy efficiency and water conservation and provide water security to farmers.
The scheme also includes building 10,000 Mega Watt solar plants on barren lands and providing sops to DISCOMS to purchase the electricity produced, increasing the capacity of the existing pumps government tube wells and from 7250 MW to 8250 MW and distributing 17.5 lakh solar pumps.
A 60% subsidy shall be given to the farmers on the solar pumps, which will be shared between the Centre and the States while bank loans will provide 30% of the cost. The balance will have to be borne by the farmers.