NRI Problems: How India can provide free electricity up to 300 units every month

Rooftop solar PV systems can be installed on any type of roof where the structure has sufficient weight bearing capacity

By H. P. Ranina

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Published: Tue 27 Feb 2024, 10:53 PM

Question: With the weather worldwide becoming unpredictable, is India geared up to meet the challenges of climate change?

Answer: All efforts are being made to meet the challenges of climate change. The Indian Meteorological Department which has been in existence for 150 years has a network of 39 radars covering the entire country, more than 1000 automatic weather stations, 1350 automatic rain gauges, and more than 6000 rainfall monitoring stations. IMD receives satellite images every 15 minutes and it has radiation observatories as well as specific observatories with respect to aviation, navigation, renewable energy, environment and air quality. Therefore, India now has a seamless modelling system for forecasting weather up to a few hours as well as short-term forecasts up to 7 days. However, challenges are still being faced with respect to predicting small scale severe weather hazards like cloudburst and lightning. These issues are now being addressed in collaboration with R&D institutions both in the public and private sector. India is also engaged in a collaborative effort with 56 countries in weather modification activities by way of seeding or dispersing substances into clouds, producing ice crystals, coagulating droplets, and influencing the natural development cycle of clouds. While this will take time to fructify, the interventions offer a potential key to weather resilience. AI-powered robotic systems are being developed which will contribute to precision weather management and play a pivotal role in advancing India’s meteorological capabilities.


Question: There have been press reports of Indian government proposing to provide free electricity up to 300 units every month to 10 million house owners. Is this practical and how will it benefit the economy?

Answer: The Indian prime minister has announced that an investment of around Rs750 billion is proposed to be made which would provide electricity for 1 billion households in India to the extent of 300 units of free electricity every month. This would be done through provision of rooftop solar panels. In order to avail of this benefit, a house owner will have to register on the official portal of the government by furnishing his electricity consumer number, mobile number and e-mail ID. The electricity distribution company which is currently supplying him/her with electricity will have the solar panel installed and a net meter will be provided by the distribution company. Once the formalities are completed and the solar panels are commissioned, the house owner will be given a subsidy to the extent of 300 units per month which will be directly credited to his bank account. The advantages of the Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar System is that apart from providing free electricity of 300 units per month to each householder, there would be long-term energy and ecological security by reduction in carbon emission. The distribution company will save transmission and distribution costs and eliminate T&D losses. It would bring about long-term improvement in tail-end grid voltages and reduce system congestion. Rooftop solar PV systems can be installed on any type of roof where the structure has sufficient weight bearing capacity.


Question: My son has applied for a job in the United Kingdom and his visa application is pending in the category of skilled workers. I am told that there is going to be some delay in getting the application through.

Answer: British employers are trying to secure the processing of visa applications for skilled workers before changes in the immigration rules come into effect in April this year. Under the new rule, the minimum salary payable to a skilled worker would be £38,700 per annum as against the current amount of £26,200 per annum. In other words, if a skilled worker is employed after March 2024, his British employer will have to pay an additional salary of £12,500 per annum. This increase would particularly impact the hospitality sector. The salary threshold is sought to be aligned with the average full time earnings of a British citizen with a view to discourage excessive reliance on migrant workers and protect job opportunities for their citizens. The Home Office in the UK is processing the applications well within the prescribed time under its government regulations. It is, therefore, possible that your son may get the visa before April in the normal course.

H. P. Ranina is a practising lawyer, specialising in tax and corporate laws of India.
H. P. Ranina is a practising lawyer, specialising in tax and corporate laws of India.

H. P. Ranina is a practising lawyer, specialising in tax and corporate laws of India.


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