Budget 2020: Solar Industry Seeks Policy Reforms for Ease of Doing Biz

With the release of the Economic Survey 2020 today, by the Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy V Subramanian, which is the reflection of the Modi 2.0 government’s annual report card, all eyes are on the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget 2020 presentation on February 01, 2020.

In Budget this year, Finance Minister Sitharaman is likely to reverse the ongoing economic slowdown that gripped the country.

The Economic Survey reviewed the economic health of the country in past twelve month period along with the outlook for the next year. Today’s economic survey pegged India’s GDP growth at 6 to 6.5 percent for FY 2020-21, as compared to a projected 5 percent expansion in FY 2019-20. It also hinted for more reforms for strengthening ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in India.

For wealth to be distributed, it first has to be created and called for looking at wealth creators with respect, said the Economic Survey. The saying is somewhat in line with India Inc’s Budget expectation for the solar sector as well, here’s what they say:

Saif Dhorajiwala, Co-Founder & ED, Fourth Partner Energy

Saif Dhorajiwala, Co-Founder & ED, Fourth Partner Energy“At 1.37 billion people, India’s current share of global primary energy demand at 6 percent is estimated to grow to 11 percent by 2040 – this makes India’s demand for energy the fastest growing amongst all the major economies. Renewable sources will play the primary role in helping our country meet this exponentially increasing demand for electricity.

Budget 2020 should ideally outline measures to help achieve the government’s 175 GW renewables target for 2022. Regulatory stability and certainty is imperative to the growth of the sector. The health of Discoms has to be addressed – an announcement of a scheme to address AT&C losses, smart-metering, tariff gaps and ending the state monopoly of Discoms is expected by the market.

The need to accelerate solar + storage solutions is also crucial and India will benefit from working towards this.”

Ratul Puri, Chairman, Hindustan Power

Ratul Puri, Chairman, Hindustan Power“The government has taken some significant steps towards making renewable energy both solar, and wind more mainstream, and affordable. The upcoming Union Budget 2020 should focus on areas such as import duties, taxation, R&D, technology and affordability etc. for it to assume long-term significance.

The required FDI and investments in the power and energy industry will strengthen the country’s mission of proclaiming itself as a sustainable dependent energy source.”

Sanjeev Aggarwal, Founder and CEO Amplus Solar

Sanjeev Aggarwal, Founder and CEO Amplus Solar“Last year has been full of challenges for the solar industry and we hope that this year’s budget will provide the much needed impetus to the solar industry. There is a need for bringing in structural changes to the electricity sector in India recognising the rise of renewable and decentralised power generation resources. There is a need for the free market forces driven by renewable sector to co-exist with the legacy electricity system. The consumers deserve to break away from the monopoly being enjoyed by incumbent utilities and the budget can provide strong policy statements to this effect.”

Bharat Bhut, Director of Goldi Solar

Bharat Bhut, Director of Goldi Solar“In this year’s Budget, our expectation from the government is to formulate incentives for promotion of domestic manufacturing in the heavily import dependent solar industry. Local manufacturers need to be safeguarded through duties on imported products, so as to make domestic products more cost-effective. It is our hope that this will give a significant boost to the “Make in India” vision of the government.

While the government has made major policy and regulatory interventions in order to promote solar power development, what is expected in this Budget is the stability of policies. The various regulatory uncertainties that are impacting investor confidence need to be addressed urgently. In addition, we expect the government to ensure better synchronisation between the discoms and solar companies to ensure a win-win situation for all stakeholders.”

Neha Agrawal, Head- Corporate Strategy, Vikram Solar

Neha Agrawal, Head- Corporate Strategy, Vikram Solar“The country needs to consider investing in building solar manufacturing as it stands to solve country’s employment, energy, and economic issues. Additionally, new policies supporting manufacturing, solar export, land acquisition, and simplification of bureaucratic hurdles have to be introduced to support green energy growth in India.”

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Manu Tayal

Manu Tayal

Manu is an Associate Editor at Saur Energy International where she writes and edits clean & green energy news, featured articles and interview industry veterans with a special focus on solar, wind and financial segments.

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