Commending India achieving 10 per cent ethanol being five months ahead of schedule, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said it has helped farmers earn ₹40,600 crore as income in the last eight years. He addressed the ‘Save Soil’ programme organised by the Isha Foundation.

“The Prime Minister disclosed that today, India has achieved the target of 10 per cent ethanol blending, five months ahead of schedule. Elaborating on the enormity of the achievement, the Prime Minister said that in 2014 ethanol blending was at 1.5 per cent,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.

To help cut its dependence on costly oil imports, India aims for 10 per cent ethanol blending by 2022.

The prime minister empasised three benefits of achieving this goal, adding, “First, it has led to a reduction of 27 lakh tonnes of carbon emission. Second, it has saved foreign exchange worth ₹41,000 crore and thirdly, farmers of the country have earned ₹40,600 crore in the last eight years due to increase in ethanol blending.”

The Prime Minister complimented the people, farmers and oil companies of the country on this achievement. India has achieved the target of sourcing 40 per cent of its installed power generation capacity from non-fossilfuel, nine years ahead of schedule, he said.

‘Spike in solar capacity’

Solar energy capacity has increased by 18 times, and policies like the hydrogen mission, circular economy-related policies, and scrappage policy are examples of our commitment to environmental protection, Modi added.

The Prime Minister noted that India’s efforts to protect the environment have been multifaceted. India is making this effort when India’s role in climate change is negligible. Large modern countries of the world are not only exploiting more and more resources of the earth, but maximum carbon emission goes to their account, he said.

The world’s average carbon footprint is about 4 tonne per person per annum compared to just about 0.5 tonne per person per annum in India.

India is working on a long-term vision in collaboration with the International community to protect the environment and established organisations like Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and International Solar Alliance. The Prime Minister reiterated India’s goal of net-zero by 2070, he said.

Water conservation

The government also connects the people with water conservation through campaigns like catching the rain. In March this year, a campaign to conserve 13 big rivers has also started. In this, along with reducing water pollution, work is being executed to plant forests on the banks of rivers, he said.

Estimates are that this will add a forest cover of 7,400 sq km, which will add to the increase of 20,000 sq km forest cover in India that has been added in the last eight years, the Prime Minister noted.