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Press release: India energy access coalition calls on govt to maintain funding

The Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN), which represents 110 organizations including energy enterprises, community organizations, R&D institutions and policy think-tanks in the Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) sector across India, applauds the Government of India for its focus and interest in providing every household with 24×7 Power for All by 2022. The Government’s recognition of the importance of last-mile rural electrification and the role of DRE in facilitating this, through the recent National Energy Policy and the Draft Mini Grid Policy, is also noteworthy.
However, we are deeply concerned about the recent decision, included under the GST schedule, to divert the unspent funds, amounting to more than Rs. 56,700 crores, from the National Clean Energy and Environment Fund (NCEEF) to compensate for state losses as a consequence of GST.
The purpose of the NCEEF, collected through a cess on coal, is to fund research and innovative projects in clean energy technologies. The National Energy Policy also calls for the creation of an Energy Access Fund given the importance of the sector and its need for resources. At a time when it is critical to alleviate energy poverty and increase renewable energy deployment for the country’s energy security, every resource must be efficiently utilized towards achieving these objectives.
With this background, CLEAN and its members believe that it is not advisable to divert funds that would contribute to R&D in renewable energy and could directly impact India’s transition to a clean energy future. Recognizing that compensation of GST loss is important, the Network calls on the Government to retain an appropriate percentage of funding from the coal cess toward clean energy development, on an continuing basis. The DRE sector of India stands ready to work with the public and private sector to scale last-mile 24*7 electrification for the 304 million Indians still living without power.

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