IBA condemns Govt for withdrawing subsidy on biogas plants

NEW DELHI, Dec 20: Indian Biogas Association (IBA) on Monday condemned the Government for the withdrawal of subsidy on all kinds of biogas plants, saying it will impact India’s goal of self-sufficiency in fossil fuels and affect 50 million farmers.
“Indian Biogas association condemns the Government’s decision on withdrawal of subsidy /CFA of all kinds of biogas plants- all categories- small, medium and bigger.
“The decision will impact almost 50 million farmers looking for energy security and natural farming along with the Government’s target of 5,000 plants under SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) Scheme and will jeopardize Indian dream of becoming self-sufficient in fossil fuels,” an IBA statement said.
According to the statement, the Indian biogas industry can help government reduce Rs 1.1 lakh crore imports of fossil fuels, if the industry gets the right kind of support, which is impossible to achieve without support.
The SATAT, an initiative of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) under the bio-fuel policy, targets to facilitate setting up 5,000 plants.
This means subsidy requirement is of approximately Rs 20,000 crore (considering each plant of average 5 Tons/day bio-CNG output capacity), over a five-year period, it stated.
The recently lapsed and withdrawn Central Financial Assistance (CFA) scheme for setting-up Biogas/CBG/bio-CNG projects- the scheme used to cover as much as Rs 4 crores/ MWel.Eq. (max. Up to Rs 10 crore per project), which roughly encompasses 15-25 per cent of the Capital Cost of a typical large-scale bio-CNG project/plant, it stated.
Also, as per the notification dated February 28, 2020, in 2019-20, around Rs 478 crore for 257 MWeq. Was allocated under the CFA grants.
Unambiguously, this allocated amount was way too less than the CFA/subsidy needed to achieve the envisaged target under the SATAT initiative. The impact is well seen now in terms of withdrawal of CFA, it stated. (PTI)