Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has said that the government is planning to bring a new bio-fuel policy for encouraging its use in transport fuel that will catalyse Rs 1 lakh crore of investment in the entire value chain. He also noted that this will be in line with the government's commitment to cut down emission and bring down the overall oil import bill.
The Petroleum Minister has pointed out that India imports 80 percent of its crude oil needs and use of biofuel extracted from non-edible oils will help meet the target of reducing imports by 10 percent by 2022. He also said that India's top three state-owned oil companies have committed approximately $2 billion investment in research and development (R&D) on biofuels. He added that they will soon take to the Cabinet a biofuel policy that will provide for investment climate, incentives, government role and commercial returns for developers.
Adding further, Pradhan said that the new policy will help develop a biofuel economy worth Rs 1 lakh crore in the next two years. He also said that the government has already asked state oil companies to set up ethanol plants at 12 locations over the coming year. He noted that promoting biofuels creates jobs, fosters economic growth, supports farmers and helps improve energy security for the country. He added that ways are being explored on conversion of urban, rural waste to fuel and use of waste/barren lands for cultivation of feedstock for 2G biofuels.