Kolkata : Union minister R K Singh on Sunday criticised the West Bengal government for “not implementing” the PM Kusum scheme, which could have helped farmers by way of lower power costs.
The scheme envisages installation of solar panels for running irrigation pumps, which are usually operated with diesel.
Singh, the Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, said under the scheme, the Centre provides 30-per cent assistance as viability gap funding.
“With this viability gap funding, solar power generation costs would come down and farmers can benefit from lower electricity tariff… But the Bengal government has not implemented it,” Singh said here.
The electricity distribution company of the state government would only have to invite bids from private agencies, which set up solar panels, and then buy power from them, he said.
The agency with the lowest bid would be awarded the contract. It would also be able to provide electricity at the cheapest rate, the minister said.
“There are no financial implications on the part of the state government,” Singh said.
He was in the city to witness the launch of the Rs 13,000-crore PM Vishwakarma Yojana in Delhi, via the virtual mode.
Singh said West Bengal has an important role to play in the successful implementation of the scheme.
The goal of the Vishwakarma scheme is to enhance the accessibility and quality of products and services offered by traditional artisans and craftsmen.
It offers collateral-free enterprise development loans of Rs 1 lakh (first tranche for 18 months repayment), and Rs 2 lakh (second tranche for 30 months repayment), officials said.
“This is a path-breaking initiative, which will help in strengthening the country’s economy,” Singh asserted.