NITI Aayog, CII join hands for sustainable development
New Delhi: The NITI Aayog and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) announced a partnership to work towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the country. Speaking at the Government and Business Partnership Conclave at the national capital, organised by the NITI Aayog, CII and the United Nations, the Minister of State for Power and Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh said, “Business and government partnership needs to be harnessed to achieve the greater good.” The minister said that three things were key for sustainable development – energy, water and circular economy or a green industry. He further stated that he aimed to make quality power available to each household in the country and that his ministry is committed to bringing down the prices from Rs 8 per unit to around the Rs 3.50 per unit mark. “We want to pass a law, if any DISCOM (Distribution Companies of India) is involved in any load-shedding without any actual breakdowns happening, the law will make it an offence and those DISCOMs will be penalised. We are trying to bring this law come into effect by April 1, 2019,” he added. He also mentioned that a campaign to keep AC temperatures between 24 and 26 degrees Celsius, to ensure conservation of energy, was impending. “Every degree by which you raise the temperature, 6 per cent power is saved. Subsidies should be given with direct bank benefit transfer to enable the consumer to become more responsible” Singh said in his address. The minister further stated that a solar power plant with storage facilities and a 35,000 MW potential will be built in Ladakh, adding that more bids are expected to be made for manufacturing solar panels. “We have a capacity of 345,000 MW today and a peak requirement of 170000MW. 100,000MW has been added by way of renewables in the past 4 years. ‘1 country 1 grid’ has also become a reality which allows us to get power from anywhere and we don’t need generators anymore,” said Singh. He also expressed confidence that India will achieve its clean energy goals earlier than 2022 and urged everyone to be conscious and responsible towards the environment. On a related note, the CII launched its report – Indian Solutions for the World to Achieve SDGs, which dives deep into individual SDG, targets and business implications thereof. The report cites examples that illustrate how companies have incorporated the SDGs framework into their business strategy and gone about achieving them.