After achieving the ethanol blending level of 8.1 per cent during the Ethanol Supply Year (ESY) 2020-21 (December-November), the government is aiming to achieve the 10 per cent target during ESY 2021-22.

In a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Friday, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, said the supply of ethanol to OMCs (oil marketing companies) was only 38 crore litres with blending levels of only 1.53 per cent in ESY 2013-14. Production of fuel grade ethanol and its supply to OMCs has increased by eight times from 2013-14 to 2020-21.

She said 302.30 crore litres of ethanol have been supplied to OMCs during ESY 2020-21, thereby achieving 8.1 per cent blending levels, which is historically highest.

In the current ESY 2021-22, about 113 crore litres of ethanol have been blended with petrol till March 13, thereby achieving 9.45 per cent blending. She said the blending target of 10 per cent is likely to be achieved during ESY 2021-22.

The government has fixed 20 per cent blending target for 2025, which is also likely to be achieved, the Minister said.

Telangana at the top

With a blending percentage of 10.57 per cent, Telangana led the list in the Ethanol Blended with Petrol (EBP) programme during the current ESY till March 13. This was followed by Karnataka at 10.37 per cent. The blending percentage was at 6.32 per cent in West Bengal during the period.

Of the 113. 2 crore litres of ethanol supplied for blending till March 13, the share of Uttar Pradesh was at 15.3 crore litres. This was followed by Maharashtra at 13.5 crore litres.

Highlighting the various measures taken in the past three years to increase the production of ethanol to meet the blending target, the minister said the government has been fixing remunerative prices of ethanol produced from different feedstocks for supply to OMCs for every ESY. Rice and maize from FCI were also allowed as feedstock.

Apart from amending the Industries (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951, to ensure free movement of ethanol in the country, the government also reduced GST on ethanol meant for EBP programme from 18 per cent to 5 per cent.

Stating that notification for 20 per cent blending from April 2023 has been issued, the Minister said in reply to a question that the use of automotive fuels E12 (12 per cent ethanol with 88 per cent petrol) and E15 have been notified. Notification has also been issued for the direct sale of E100 by OMCs.

Flexi-fuel engine and components (capable of running up to E85 fuel) have been included under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, the minister added.

Agri Infra Fund

In a separate reply, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, said assistance under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) have been sanctioned for 10,660 projects implemented by primary agriculture credit societies, agri entrepreneurs, farmers and FPOs (Farmer Produce Organisations) in the country till date.

Of these projects, 2,705 were from Madhya Pradesh, 1,523 were from Andhra Pradesh, and 953 from Karnataka.

The total project cost stood at ₹13,804 crore for these 10,666 projects. The government has sanctioned funds to the tune of ₹7,865 crore, the minister said in the reply.

In a recent modification, eligibility for assistance under AIF was extended to the State agencies/APMCs, national and State federations of cooperatives, federations of FPOs (Farmer Produce Organisations), and federations of self-help groups (SHGs). APMCs operating regulated markets for agriculture and allied sector produce, including fisheries, shall also be eligible, he said.

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