In a bid to tap Punjab's irrigation potential through non-conventional energy in the horticulture sector, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday urged the Centre to increase the subsidy on solar water pumps from 30% to 80%.
Badal made this demand before union minister for renewable energy Farooq Abdullah, who called on the chief minister at the latter's residence here.
Badal said the union government had been providing 80% subsidy for solar water pumps as central financial assistance till 2004 but later reduced it to 30%. He urged the Centre to restore the subsidy available to the farmers earlier.
Badal also asked Abdullah to introduce inverters and battery back-up system in the existing scheme of solar water pumps to enable the farmers to utilise their existing AC motor set-up instead of buying new DC motors, which was not financially viable.
Regarding the state's share of Rs 285 crore for the development of non-conventional energy as per the 13th Finance Commission recommendations, Badal asked the union minister to get the process expedited for an early release of funds.
Abdullah assured Badal that he would soon take up all these issues with the Prime Minister for an early solution, especially of subsidy enhancement for solar water pumps, a spokesman said.