The funds can create 10,200 jobs and cut about 7.49 mt of carbon emissions equivalent a year
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NEW DELHI :
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved the infusion of ₹1,500 crore in Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (Ireda). The investment will help generate 10,200 jobs and reduce carbon emissions equivalent to approximately 7.49 million tonnes per year.
The additional equity infusion will enable the mini-ratna company under the ministry of new and renewable energy to lend approximately ₹12,000 crore to the renewable energy sector, helping meet the sector’s debt requirement for additional capacity of 3,500–4,000 MW, the CCEA said after a meeting earlier in the day.
The equity infusion will also enhance the specialized non-banking finance agency’s net worth, which will help it in additional financing, thus contributing better to the government’s targets. It will also improve the capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio to facilitate its lending and borrowing operations, the CCEA said in a statement.
Information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur said that the Ireda has played a big role in the field of renewable energy and its portfolio had increased from ₹8,800 crore to ₹28,000 crore in the past six years.
“But according to the Reserve Bank of India, the loan can only be lent on 20% of the net worth. The net worth of Ireda is ₹3,000 crore. It can lend loans up to ₹600 crore only," he said, noting the importance of the decision.
Separately, the Union cabinet approved a scheme for grant of ex-gratia of ₹973.74 crore, the difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts.
The government had approved the scheme for six months during the first wave of the covid pandemic between 1 March and 31 August 2020, providing an outlay of ₹5,500 crore for FY21 for distressed or vulnerable borrowers that have taken loans of up to ₹2 crore in the categories of MSME, housing, education and consumer durables, besides credit card dues, auto loans, personal or professional loans and consumption loans.
State Bank of India, the nodal agency under the scheme for consequent reimbursement to lending institutions, told the government that it had received consolidated claims of ₹6,473.74 crore, higher than the allocated amount, and has therefore sought additional allocation of the balance amount.
The Union cabinet also approved the extension of tenure of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis for three years beyond 31 March 2022, which will benefit sanitation workers and 58,098 identified manual scavengers in the country. The approval, which will cost the government ₹43.68 crore, comes ahead of Assembly elections in states, including Punjab (it goes to polls on 20 February).
“The government feels that there is a continued need to monitor the various interventions and initiatives of the government for welfare of safai karamcharis and to achieve the goal of complete mechanization of sewer/septic tanks cleaning in the country and rehabilitation of manual scavengers," the cabinet said in a statement.
The government has taken steps for eradicating manual scavenging but sporadic instances do occur, the cabinet said, adding that the deprivation suffered by them in socio-economic and educational terms is yet to be eliminated. “[Eradication of] hazardous cleaning of sewers or septic tanks continues to be an area of the highest priority for the government," the cabinet added.