The government has hiked the FAME-I scheme outlay by Rs 100 crore, following a recommendation from the Expenditure Finance Committee.
The Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in a gazetted notification has said that the government has agreed to increase the outlay for the first phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric (& Hybrid) Vehicle (FAME) scheme by Rs 100 Crore. The total outlay for the programme which hopes to supplement mass adoption of electric vehicles in the country now stands at Rs 895 crore.
FAME India is a part of National Electricity Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) to push for early adoption and market creation for both hybrids and EVs. Covering all vehicles from two-wheelers, three-wheelers, four-wheelers and buses the incentives to be provided are based on the type and make of any given vehicle. Built for an ambition of seeing at least one-third of all vehicles on the India roads to be electric by 2030, the Indian Government launched the first phase of the FAME scheme in 2015, with a planned period of operation till 2017 (2 years) and a Rs 795 crore outlay. After which, the plan was to replace it with FAME-II, but the much anticipated second phase of the scheme is yet to be rolled out with its much talked about Rs 5500 crore layout.
After its planned period of implementation, the FAME-I scheme has been extended four times for a period of 6 months, the latest of which saw the scheme extended till March 2019. And now, the Ministry of Finance has given the go-ahead on hiking the outlay for the first phase by 100 crores.
Industry leaders believe that currently, there is a need for government support for EVs, which are at a nascent stage in India. “We want FAME to continue so that there is a kind of facilitation and expediting of this process (of electrification of vehicles),” Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra told reporters. While observing that the industry would like the subsidy to be continued for some time, Mahindra said, “We are (also) convergent on one thing that eventually this (popularisation of EVs) will not come if you are dependent on subsidy. At some point, you have to break free.”
In line with its goals, the government is also working on the second phase of FAME which has proposed setting up of a venture capital fund of $70.85 Mn (INR 500 Cr) for development of a manufacturing base for zero-emission vehicles and their components, taking prototypes to manufacturing, and development of R&D among others.