Monthly Archives: January 2016

Solar Power Revolution

Punjab takes a big step towards solar power revolution

Glad to share that the border state of Punjab has taken big strides towards clean and green energy to save environment from pollution and create sustainable and responsible oriented infrastructure development.

Punjab has recorded stupendous increase in green power generation registering an increase of 172 times from 9 MW to 1550 MW in just three years, setting a new national benchmark.

No other state in the country has been able to achieve such a level of growth in such a short time recording massive increase in investment from meager Rs. 70 crore to Rs. 12,000 crore besides creating employment avenues for 10,000 youth that too in three years.

The best part of solar power policy of Punjab was that right from farmer having land holding of four acre to multinational companies including Adanis, Wellspun, Essel, Azure etc. are equal partners in the Solar revolution being ushered in by tiny state having 2% geographical area of the country.

 

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Evasion of stamp duty: Punjab govt starts process of recovery

Phagwara: Punjab government has started the process of recovery of the amount lost by the state exchequer due to evasion of stamp duty, Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia said on Tuesday.

“The process of recovery has started and those found guilty will be dealt with,” he said while answering a query regarding a RTI application filed by the Congress party (RTI cell) sometime back which had unravelled evasion of stamp duty in the state, resulting in loss to the tune of Rs 200 crore.
Asked if revenue officials were said to be guilty of charging deficient stamp duty which resulted in huge loss to the state exchequer, Majithia quipped that all the names will be tackled.
However, he did not say anything more on the matter.
After a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) was filed with Punjab and Haryana High Court in this regard, the court had directed the Punjab government to take appropriate action.
Majithia said e-stamping had started in the state and revenue work was being made further transparent and paperless.
The Minister, who also holds portfolio of New and Renewable Energy, called upon farmers to take to Solar Projects as part of crop diversification programme.
“Farmers should come forward to lease out their land for solar projects. It will be a win-win situation for them. They will earn from the lease as well as use their land, leaving aside traditional cropping,” he said.
He admitted that government is faced with unavailability of land for undertaking renewable energy resources projects.

Majithia Justifies Demand For Economic Package For Punjab

While advocating the need for an economic package, Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia today said the Centre should grant special economic package to Punjab on the pattern of North-Eastern states as it was its legitimate right.
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Distributing grants for development works in different villages here, Majithia said the Centre should consider Punjab on the lines of Jammu and Kashmir. Bikram Singh Majithia said there were various similarities in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir as both were facing severe problems due to infiltration, cross-border terrorism so there should be single parameter of packages for both the border states. The Revenue Minister urged the Union government to extend special economic package for Punjab so that impetus could be given to the ongoing development, besides creating new job avenues.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for awarding Amritsar the status of heritage city, Indian Institute of Management, besides AIIMS along with Central University, Bikram Singh Majithia said the NDA had ended the decade-long discrimination being meted out to the state by the Congress.
Ridiculing the prediction of Amritsar MP Captain Amarinder Singh regarding 2017 polls, Majithia said, “Captain should understand the fact that development is one and only preference of the electorate of Punjab. Development has been foremost mission of SAD-BJP combine.” He said after Partap Singh Bajwa, now Rajinder Kaur Bhattal had opened a front against him. Terming Captain as a “absentee from Amritsar”, Majithia said he backstabbed the residents of the city by remaining absent not only from the constituency but also from Lok Sabha. He alleged that he was running away from his responsibilities by ignoring the aspirations of the people of his constituency.

Punjab may allow farmers to set up solar plants to reduce power woes

Punjab’s farmers could look forward to the end of some of their power-cut woes with the state government planning to launch soon a “farm-level solar power generation scheme”.
New and Renewable Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithia said farmers will be allowed to set up solar power plants ranging from one MW to 2.5 MW.

“The initial target is being fixed at generation of 500 MW power under this scheme,” Majithia said in a statement on Sunday.
He said the scheme had been specially designed to meet the growing challenges of land scarcity, high cost of land, alarming ground water table situation and depleting soil health.
“There was no doubt that agricultural production in state has reached a saturation point and it is imperative for us to explore more and more avenues for enhancing the income of farm sector. The time has come to develop entrepreneurial skills among farmers which will further give them confidence for setting up of agro-industries/food processing industries etc,” Majithia said.
Punjab, with just 1.54 percent of the country’s geographical area, contributes over 50 percent of food grains (wheat and paddy) to the Central kitty.
“Once the scheme is launched, any land owning farmer having at least five acres of land or small farmers joining hands to form a group can apply jointly,” he said.
The minister further said that farmers would be free to fix their solar panels in such a design that they could use their land for agricultural purposes also.
“The farmers can also use power for their domestic or agricultural requirements and they will be paid on monthly basis for the power they contribute to the power sub-station,” he said.

GOI lauds Punjab’s Solar power achievements

Minister (Independent Charge) of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy, GOI Mr. Piyush Goyal, today sent a communiqué to Chief Minister Punjab  Parkash Singh Badal congratulating him and the State team on successfully tendering 500 MW Grid Connected solar power projects in the state. Punjab Government, in the area of solar energy has got accolades at National Level and last year Punjab received ‘Best performing State award in Solar Energy’ by Prime Minister of India Sh. Narendra Modi who presented this award to S. Bikram Singh Majithia, New & Renewable Energy Minister.

Recognizing the persistent efforts of Punjab in promoting solar energy, the Union government has appreciated Punjab government’s pioneering initiatives on the solar power front. , Mr. Goyal wrote that with more than 200 MW solar power projects including large solar installations already producing clean energy in the state, the successful tendering of 500 MW solar projects will not only have a positive impact in the sector but also go a long way in meeting the National Solar Mission’s (NSM) target of 100 GW solar capacity by 2022. “It is our endeavour to provide clean, reliable energy to the vast population”, he added.

The Minister appreciated the state government’s efforts for promotion of grid connected solar rooftop projects as the state has not only notified the necessary policy but the World’s largest grid connected solar rooftop project of 7.52 MW was set up in Punjab and is further being expanded to 20 MW. It may be mentioned here that Punjab has recently allotted rooftop solar projects of capacity 53 MW to developers.
Seeking more support from states for realizing the 100 GW National Solar Mission target, Mr. Goyal said that the NSM was making relentless efforts to bring down the cost of solar power to have grid parity for popularizing the usage of solar power for generation of electricity throughout the country. “Punjab’s positive and pro-renewable energy efforts will certainly inspire other states”, he concluded.
In a short span of three years of time, S. Bikram Singh Majithia has scripted a new success with Solar Energy generation in Punjab all set to increase its green power generation from 9 MW to 1550 MW (172 times). During this period, Punjab has also recorded a massive increase in investment from meagre Rs. 70 crore to Rs. 12,000 crore besides creating employment avenues for 10,000 youth. “It is only possible due to solar developers accross the globe are investing in Punjab considering its best solar power promotion policy in the country”, Mr. Majithia said.
Punjab Government has also launched a unique Net Metering policy under which one lakh buildings will be covered by year 2022 resulting in 200MW of solar power generation. The Minister added that “the most interesting part of the solar success story of Punjab is that right from a local farmer having land holding of 4 acres to the world’s best companies in Solar Energy like SolaireDirect, International Switchgears, Abundant  Energy, Northstar Solar Power, Welspun Solar Punjab, Mumbai, Focal Energy Solar India, Omega Solar Energy, IK Energy, TR Energy, Azure Urja, Atma Powers, Madhav Solar, PL Surya Urja, Essel Renewable Energy, Nexgen Solux , Allianz  Eco Power, Mokia Green Energy, Aditya Medi Sales and many more are now equal partners in the Solar revolution being ushered in by Punjab, a comparatively small state having just 2% geographical area of the country”.

Rahul’s return will not sail through Congress party’s sinking ship: Bikram Singh Majithia

While Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was belting out against Modi government on its land acquisition bill while speaking at Kissan Rally in Delhi on Sunday after 57 days sabbatical , almost at the same time in Majitha, Punjab, cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia was rumbling and grumbling against Rahul for allegedly misleading the gullible farmers while declaring him a ‘failed’ leader.

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While talking to TOI , Majithia said “Bringing ‘missing’ Rahul back to political stage will not help to sail through the Congress party’s sinking ship”. He said Rahul was the face of Congress party during 2014 Lok Sabha elections and everybody knows where he led the Congress. “The simple message is that people of this country has rejected Congress as well as its icon Rahul Gandhi” he said.

Majithia was here on visit to various villages to inspect the ongoing development work and distribute development grants for the villages of Niberpur, Sadhpur and Jhamka.
Not leaving a chance to quip on the internal wrangling in Punjab Congress he said “You can yourself see the brickbating between Amarinder and Bajwa, the Congress is fatally ill in Punjab and taking last breathes in ICU, no doctor can save it” he said adding that it was just the Congress minions who were trying to befool people on the name of unity in state Congress unit.
Taking a dig at Congress party’s state president Partap Singh Bajwa,

Punjab attracts Rs 3,500-cr Investments for solar projects

Punjab government today said it has received bids from as many as 18 companies for setting up solar projects in the state which will attract investment of Rs 3,500 crore.

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Companies like Sun Edison, First Solar and Sky Power from US, Solar Pack Corporation Spain, Emami Power, Sun Pharma, Acme, Hero Group, Welspun, Azure Power participated in the bidding process, Punjab New and Renewable Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithia said in a release issued here.

The state received bids with cumulative capacity of 1,650 MW as against offered capacity of 500 MW.

He said the allocation process will be completed by the end of next month.

Majithia said the “overwhelming” response from international solar power players had once again confirmed that the State’s renewable energy policy is the best in the country.

“It is to the credit of Punjab that it had succeeded in its Go Solar mission despite constraints of land. We do not have any wastelands or deserts, yet Punjab is the most preferred state for investors as compared to other states which are five to seven times larger in area,” the minister said.

He added, “We have backed up our solar mission with a 25 year power purchase agreement with our electricity utility – the PSPCL. The fact that PSPCL has got a good credit rating of A+ has also boosted investor confidence.”

“Moreover, hassle free land acquisition and land lease policies, pro-business policies, incentives, infrastructure, power provision, and ease of doing business make Punjab an attractive investment destination for companies,” he said.