Nitin Gadkari urges MSMEs to install rooftop solar for business efficiency
03 March 2021: Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and the Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari has urged the Indian MSMEs to avail concessional debt finance to install rooftop solar for business efficiency. He said that rooftop Solar system offers an excellent value proposition to MSMEs by significantly bringing down cost of electricity consumption.
Kick starting a virtual awareness programme about use of rooftop solar (RTS) by MSMEs Gadkari said that there is a strong business case for MSMEs to install rooftop solar and achieve significant savings to achieve the cost-competitiveness. Gadkari, further added that a large amount (average INR 8 and higher per unit) is being paid by the MSMEs for power consumption, which contributes to up to one fifth of the overall production costs. To assist MSMEs in implementing rooftop solar projects, the Ministry is working with the World Bank on a credit guarantee program to make financing accessible to unrated MSMEs. Considering the rates of solar power from large utility power plants have come down to a record INR 1.99/kWh, MSMEs must leverage this opportunity to bring down their energy expenses.
The programme, inaugurated virtually by the Minister, was graced by B. B. Swain, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy; Junaid Ahmad, Country Director India, World Bank; and Dinesh Kumar Khara, Chairman, State Bank of India.
It may be noted that in 2016, The World Bank launched the ‘Solar Rooftop Financing Program’ being implemented by the State Bank of India (SBI).With a view to addressing the issues on the debt side and to give a fillip to the sector, SBI has availed a $625 million line of credit from World Bank specifically, for financing RTS projects across the country. The World Bank is working with the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, to bring in a credit guarantee mechanism catering to lending to MSMEs who would like to reduce their energy expenses in the long term by investing in rooftop solar.