The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had not utilized the entire budget allocated to it by the National Clean Energy and Environment Fund (NCEEF) during financial year (FY) 2017-18. As of March 2018, it has spent just ₹36.13 billion (~$555.9 million) of the ₹39.93 billion (~$614.3 million) allocated to it.
As of March 28, 2018, the MNRE had utilized ₹770.5 million (~$11.9 million) of the ₹870 million (~$13.4 million) of the Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) allocated to it for the fiscal year.
The information was brought to light by the union minister for power, R. K. Singh, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. Singh was answering questions about the annual funds allocated to and utilized by MNRE from the NCEEF and GBS.
MNRE had utilized all of the allocated budget in the previous three years.
Singh also added that for FY 2018-19, MNRE would continue to receive funds from GBS and was allocated a budget of ₹51.47 billion (~$792 million).
In March 2017, Mercom reported that MNRE was expected to receive approximately ₹53.41 billion (~$817 million) from the NCEEF for FY 2018-19.
The National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) was created in 2010 to fund research for innovative projects using clean energy technologies by public and private sector entities.
The fund has evolved under the NDA administration and was rebranded as the Clean Environment Cess from the earlier Clean Energy Cess and expanded to include river cleaning and other projects.
The cess, which was ₹50 (~$0.74) per ton when it was introduced in 2010, was raised to ₹100 (~$1.5) per ton in 2014 and to ₹200 (~$3) per ton in the 2015-2016 budget. It was again doubled from ₹200 (~$3)/ton to ₹400 (~$6)/ton in the 2016-17 budget.