The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, has requested the Minister of Power R.K. Singh to consider the opinion of the Maharashtra Solar Manufacturers Association (MSMA) for encouraging all stakeholders to avail the benefits arising out of the Central Financial Assistance (CFA) subsidy program.
Last year, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) amended the payment guidelines for the CFA received by the state and central transmission utilities (STU/CTU) involved in the development of power evacuation infrastructure for solar parks. The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) makes the payments.
The letter to Singh is based on the recent meeting Gadkari held with the members of the MSMA.
“The members of Maharashtra Solar Manufacturers Association met me and gave me some important suggestions regarding the simplification of regulations of renewable energy procedures. The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector will also have more impact as many solar system manufacturers fall under MSMEs,” states the letter.
According to the letter, net metering should be optional along with net billing until the country’s solar target is achieved.
Previously, it was reported that Maharashtra issued a draft regulation for grid-interactive rooftop solar projects, which suggests that the state could go back to gross metering, rolling back net metering for all segments except residential.
The draft received a lot of flak, especially from the solar developers of Maharashtra, which led Chandrasekhar Bawankule, the state energy ministry, to request the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), to discard the proposed draft regulations on rolling back net-metering in the state.
To encourage DISCOMs to avail subsidies under the Shrushti program, the process should be made simple, suggests the letter. Gadkari has also suggested the introduction of a single-window procedure since “the common man finds it difficult to deal with various departments.”
Image credit: Solaria Energia
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.