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India targets 1,75,000 mw green power by 2022: Budget

Union budget

New Delhi: Emphasising the need to generate more  electricity from clean energy sources, the government today announced a massive renewable power production target of 1,75,000 mw in the next seven years.

Of the total 1,75,000 mw proposed to be tapped by 2022, solar power will have a lion’s share of 1,00,000 mw followed by 60,000 mw from wind energy, 10,000 mw biomass energy and 5,000 mw of small hydro projects, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budgetary proposals.

At present, the solar power generation capacity of the country is about 3,000 mw.

Small hydro power projects are plants with up to 25 mw generation capacity.

The Finance Minister said the power sector had witnessed rapid growth due to efforts of the government despite uncertainty on the coal front.

Besides it had launched ambitious programmes for new and renewable energy, he said.

Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal had said the country’s renewable energy sector is looking to attract USD 200 billion in investments as several domestic and international firms have evinced interest in tapping the potential of green power.

At present, renewable energy contributes about 6.5 percent to the electricity mix. It is proposed that this would be taken to about 12 per cent in the next three years.

Defence allocation increased by 9.87 per cent

New Delhi: Government today increased the defence budget by 9.87 per cent to Rs 2.46 lakh crore for the next fiscal as compared to the revised estimates of Rs 2.22 lakh crore for 2014-15 as it pushes ‘Make in India’ initiative to curtail over-dependence on imports.

While the government had last year alloted Rs 2.29 lakh crore in the budget, it was revised to Rs 2,22,370 crore.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley underlined that defence of every square inch of our mother land comes before anything else.

“So far, we have been over dependent on imports, with its attendant unwelcome spin-offs,” he said, adding that government has already permitted FDI in defence.

He said this was done so that the Indian-controlled entities also become manufacturers of defence equipments, not “only for us, but for export”.

Speaking on the steps taken to boost the defence sector, Jaitley said the government is working towards self- sufficiency through the Make in India programme in defence equipment including aircraft and added that the government has been both transparent and quick in making defence equipment related purchase decisions.

“This year too, I have provided adequately for the needs of the armed forces. As against likely expenditure of this year of Rs 2,22,370 crore the budget allocation for 2015-16 is Rs 2,46,727 crore,” he said in his budget address.

Govt to encourage corporatisation of public sector ports

New Delhi: Pitching for corporatisation of state-run ports in the country, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the government will encourage them to become companies under the current legislation.

Presenting the Budgetary proposals for 2015-16, Jaitley said, “Ports need to attract investment as well as leverage the huge land resource lying unused with them and to enable us to do so ports in public sector will be encouraged to corporatise and become companies under the Company’s Act.”

He said, the exemption to construction, erection, commissioning or installation of original works pertaining to an airport or port is being withdrawn.

India has 12 major ports – Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust), Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambarnar (formerly Tuticorin Port), Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) which handle approximately 61 per cent of the country’s total cargo traffic.

Meanwhile, the workers of all the major ports have announced an indefinite strike from March 9 against any government’s move to corporatise the sector.

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