Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said the state has received over Rs 4,000 crore of investment to set up 500 MW of solar projects, claiming that the state is “the most preferred destination” in the non-conventional energy sector. Speaking at Kolianwali after laying the foundation stones for various development and irrigation projects in Lambi constituency, the Deputy CM said the investment has come mainly from major foreign players in Singapore, the US and France.
He exhorted farmers to be a partner under the incentive-oriented Net Metering policy as it’s “specially designed keeping in mind farmers’ interests”. The keenness of farmers in solar power could be gauged from the fact that the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) has recently got an expression of interest for 1,200 MW as against the initial estimate of 500 MW.
The state farmers, he claimed, are now getting remunerative lease rates for solar projects. The Punjab government has sanctioned Rs 10,000 crore for basic amenities in 150 small towns and villages, of which Rs 4,000 crore will be spent on water supply and concrete streets. Describing the Congress and the AAP as “spent forces” in Punjab, Badal took on Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh, saying “he never bothered to raise his voice for issues pertaining to Punjab”.
On uniform VAT rate on diesel in northern states, Badal said it was aimed at eliminating smuggling of oil and the decision was “unanimous”. VAT on petrol will be brought to the same level in coming days as the dialogue is on, he added. Earlier, addressing a gathering at Fullu Khera, Badal said the state government will come out with a Health Card for the poor which would entitle them to free treatment of up to Rs 30,000.
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