Honorable Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitely presented the Union Budget on 10th July, for the financial year FY 14-15. The Finance Minister during his speech of the Union Budget has made some important announcements for the energy industry.
In the Power and Renewable sector perspective, these were the prime focus areas:
- The Finance Minister extended the 10 year tax holiday for power companies who start production and distribution by March 31, 2017.
- Rs. 500 crore has been allocated for Setting-up of Ultra Mega Solar Projects in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat and J&K to promote the Renewable energy.
- Allocation of Rs. 400 Crore for launching a scheme for solar power driven agricultural pump sets and water pumping stations for energising one lakh pumps.
- Allocation of Rs. 100 crore for the development of 1 MW Solar Parks on the banks of canals.
- The Ministry also allocated Rs.100 crore for cleaner thermal energy scheme.
- Extension of the concessional basic customs duty, of 5 percent, to machinery and equipments required for setting up solar projects.
- A sum of Rs. 500 cores has been allocated for strengthening of transmission and distribution infrastructure in rural areas under the ‘Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna’.
- Clean Energy Cess on coal has been increased form Rs.50/ton to Rs.100/ton, to raise more revenue for National Clean Energy Fund, that provides financial support to entrepreneurial ventures and research in the field of clean energy technologies.
- Apart from these, the government has also said that they are committed to provide 24*7 Electricity to all the households in the country.
As can be inferred from the above, no time frames have been mentioned for some of the above mentioned schemes, but it is expected that concrete guidelines will be laid down with subsequent orders and notifications on the same.
Contributed By: Dheeraj Babariya