Modi: Ethanol blending will save ₹12,000 cr a year in oil imports

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Aug 10, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (file photo). | Photo Credit: Kamal Narang

India expects to make foreign exchange savings of up to ₹12,000 crore every year after four years through the ethanol blending programme alone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Friday. The country’s ability to produce ethanol has grown manifold, he noted.

Speaking at an event to mark World Biofuel Day, Modi said, “The country has set course to produce nearly 450 crore litres of ethanol in the coming four years. Ethanol blending in petrol increased from 38 crore litres in the ethanol supply year 2013-14, to an estimated 141 crore litres in 2017-18. The government also approved the National Policy on Biofuels in June.”

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said, “In 2014, the 38 crore litre ethanol production in the country met just 2 per cent of the blending requirements. The production is expected to reach 150 crore litres during the current supply season, and will add an income of ₹3,600 crore to the sugar industry.”

Savings to exchequer

Higher ethanol production has resulted in savings to the exchequer due to lowered imports of crude oil. Modi said, “India saved forex worth ₹4,000 crore in the last financial year due to the ethanol blending programme. The government aims to increase these savings to ₹12,000 crore per annum over the next four years,” he said.

India’s crude oil import bill for financial year 2017-18 stood at $87.725 billion or ₹5.65-lakh crore.

Modi also said the Centre is pushing to bring more agricultural produce and waste to be converted to ethanol. “We also aim for an earning of ₹20,000 crore solely through conversion of sugarcane to ethanol. This will add to the income of farmers. The Centre also wants more agrarian produce such as potatoes and agrarian waste to be converted to ethanol and we are working towards the same,” he said.

Modi also launched a web portal PARIVESH, a single window for environmental, wildlife, forest and Coastal Regulation Zone clearances.

He released a book on National Biofuel Policy 2018.

Published on August 10, 2018
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