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India set to unveil new biofuel policy in bid to cut oil, gas, coal imports: Minister.


Date: 11-08-2017
Subject: India set to unveil new biofuel policy in bid to cut oil, gas, coal imports: Minister
NEW DELHI: The government will soon bring out a new policy on biofuel to incentivize the use of the cleaner fuel, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said. 

To cut India’s dependence on imported crude oil, the government has been promoting the use of biofuel for years but has tasted limited success. Over the years, the official mandate to oil companies to blend ethanol and biodiesel in certain proportion in petrol and diesel respectively has been only partly implemented. 

The potential for the biofuel industry in India is around Rs 1 – 1.5 lakh crore, Pradhan said at an event organised to mark the World Biofuel Day. “Approx $2 Billion is being invested by the government companies by way of R&D on second generation biofuel refineries across the country,” he said. 

Increased use of biofuel, along with higher domestic oil and gas production, energy efficiency and a faster switch to renewable power and electric vehicles are expected to help India curb the import of crude oil. The country imports 82% of its crude requirement and the government is targeting to cut it down to 67% by 2022. 

Transport minister Nitin Gadkari said a request to Finance Minister would be made to cut goods and services tax (GST) on biodiesel to 5% from the current 18%. A lower tax can help accelerate use of biodiesel. 

Besides bringing down pollution, biofuels produced indigenously from agricultural waste, bamboo, non-edible oilseeds, or municipal waste will help cut the country’s import burden, he said.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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