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FCIK calls for exploiting solar rooftop potential of MSMEs

Ziraat Times News Network

Srinagar: The Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) has called for exploiting the huge potential of solar rooftop energy on factory and hotel rooftops on priority in order to make these economic entities self-reliant besides helping the UT government in reducing imports of energy.

In a letter to the incumbent Chief Secretary, FCIK President Shahid Kamili has drawn his attention towards increased power crises in the valley leading to huge losses to MSMEs particularly in the unorganised sector and has maintained that generation of solar energy on the factory rooftops could be the viable long term means required for uninterrupted and optimal productions.

Regretting the “ambiguity in industrial policies in vogue”, FCIK has asked for some immediate measures to be taken for encouraging MSMEs to install solar rooftop plants till the time their demand for launch of single comprehensive industrial policy was met.

FCIK President has advocated for an amendment in the industrial policy of 2021 to ensure entitlement of MSMEs established after 2021on the incentives otherwise available to units  established before 2021 under the industrial policy of 2016.

While emphasizing the need for earmarking adequate budgetary support for industries and hotels for release of subsidy, FCIK has attributed the shrunken response by eligible units to their apprehensions about change of mind by the government.

“The units are reluctant to invest in solar plants in absence of any assurance or budgetary support for the release of such subsidy from the Industries and Tourism Departments as the owners seem doubtful about the fate and timely release of the subsidy” stated FCIK.

FCIK has also urged for exploring the possibility of generating solar energy in clusters of industrial units housed in organised industrial estates or number of units and hotels concentrated around one location in order to utilize the maximum roof space available.

It is pertinent to mention that the Industrial policy of 2016 issued by J&K Govt vide order No. 58-IND dated 15-03-2016 under its clause 3.8 mentioned that “100% subsidy is available for the purchase and installation of DG sets of capacity 10kW to 2000kW subject to upper ceiling of Rs. 40/- lac for Zone-A industries and Rs. 45/- lac for Zone-B industries. However for promotion of green and environment friendly technologies the units availing Diesel Generating sets can substitute or opt for Solar/ Wind Generator / Hybrid Solar wind systems within the upper ceiling not exceeding that of existing capacity of the permissible generator.”

This clause was also made applicable to tourism industry as well vide clause number 10.12 of  J&K Tourism Policy issued vide Govt. Order no. 133-JK(TSM) of 2020 dated 17-12-2020.

However, the department of Industries and Commerce has removed the option of Solar Roof Top from the new policy issued vide 17-Ind of 2021 dated 19-04-2021 for unknown reasons.

Nevertheless it had been given to understand that eligible existing units established prior to year 2021 could avail all incentives provided under the industrial policy of 2016 till 31-03-2026 which implied that the industrial units and hotels, besides other incentives, were also entitled to avail Solar Roof Top Subsidy. At the same time industrial units and hotels registered after April, 2021 had been debarred from availing this incentive which was not only unfair but also discriminatory.

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