Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday gave the nod to exempt renewable energy power projects from change of land use (CLU) and external development charges (EDC) in accordance with the state's new and renewable sources of energy (NRSE) Policy-2012.
Besides, solar power projects up to any capacity were also exempted from obtaining the no-objection certificate from the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB).
The deputy CM, while reviewing ongoing power projects with panchayats and rural development minister Sikandar Singh Maluka, renewable energy minister Bikram Singh Majithia and officers, asked the housing and urban development department to immediately issue a notification to exempt solar energy projects being developed by the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) under the built, operate and own (BOO) basis from CLU and EDC charges.
Sukhbir said 29 sites had already been identified for this purpose, adding that PEDA had recently handed over approval letters for 250-MW solar power projects with an investment of Rs. 2,500-3,000 crore. He informed that 250-MW power projects would be commissioned by January 31, 2015, as the implementation agreement and power purchase agreements had already been signed for all projects.
Sukhbir also directed that the rural land price fixation committee headed by the deputy commissioners concerned would fix the lease rates, keeping in view the nature of the land and prevailing contract prices of agricultural or barren land. It was also decided at the meeting to levy additional 6% yearly compounding charges from the projects' owners to recompense the spiralling prices of land.
Sukhbir asked the rural development department to move a case to the next cabinet meeting for levying yearly charges from entrepreneurs.