Central Government Approves Rooftop Solar Scheme, Fertilizer Subsidy, and Semiconductor Units.

The Union Cabinet recently greenlit a series of initiatives, including the PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana, a ₹75,000 crore rooftop solar scheme benefiting one crore households. The decision also encompassed subsidies for phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilizers for the upcoming kharif season and the establishment of three semiconductor units in Gujarat and Assam.

During a media briefing after the cabinet meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur stated, “Today’s cabinet meeting was held under the leadership of PM Modi. ‘PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana’ has been approved today, providing 300 units of free electricity to one crore families under this scheme.”

This initiative aims to boost solar manufacturing and the supply chain, generating direct employment for 17 lakh people. Each household, under this scheme announced by PM Narendra Modi on February 13, can receive a subsidy of ₹30,000 for a 1 kW system and ₹60,000 for a 2 kW system.

Additionally, the Modi cabinet sanctioned a ₹24,420-crore subsidy on phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilizers for the upcoming kharif season, ensuring farmers continue to receive essential oil nutrient DAP at ₹1,350 per quintal. Thakur highlighted a nutrient-based subsidy of ₹24,420 crore for P&K fertilizers during the kharif season from April 1 to September 30. The subsidy rates for nitrogen (N), phosphatic (P), potassic (K), and sulphur (S) for the 2024 kharif season were disclosed, maintaining unchanged levels for N, K, and S while increasing P to ₹28.72 per kg.

Furthermore, the Cabinet gave the nod to proposals for setting up three semiconductor units in Gujarat and Assam, representing an estimated investment of ₹1.26 lakh crore. Construction of all three units is slated to commence within the next 100 days, according to Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. Tata Electronics Private Limited and CG Power, in collaboration with international partners, will spearhead the semiconductor manufacturing endeavors in Gujarat.

In a bid to conserve big cats, the Cabinet also approved the creation of the International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA), allocating a one-time budgetary support of ₹150 crore over five years from 2023-24 to 2027-28. The IBCA, headquartered in India, will serve as a global network for the conservation of tigers and other significant feline species found in India, including the tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, and cheetah.

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