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How biofuel saved worth Rs 5,070 cr forex in a year

National Policy on Biofuels-2018 envisages an indicative target of 20 percent blending of ethanol in petrol and 5 percent blending of bio-diesel in diesel by 2030

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Use of damaged foodgrains and surplus foodgrains for production of ethanol will increase its availability for Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme. During the ethanol supply year 2017-18, 150.5 crore litres of ethanol was blended in petrol which resulted in foreign exchange impact of about Rs. 5,070 crore and carbon emission reduced to the extent of 29.94 lakh tonnes, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

The National Policy on Biofuels-2018 notified on June 8, 2018, inter-alia, allows production of ethanol from damaged foodgrains like wheat, broken rice among others which are unfit for human consumption. The policy also allows conversion of surplus quantities of foodgrains to ethanol, based on the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee,, Pradhan added.

The National Policy on Biofuels-2018 approved by the Government envisages an indicative target of 20 percent blending of ethanol in petrol and 5 percent blending of bio-diesel in diesel by 2030. Under EBP programme, ethanol blending in petrol is being undertaken by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in whole country except island Union Territory (UT) of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep wherein, OMCs blend up to 10 percent ethanol in petrol under the EBP programme, the minister further said.    

Further, Government has approved Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana to provide Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to second generation bio-ethanol manufacturing projects to increase availability of ethanol for EBP programme.The Ministry Petroleum and Natural Gas has also issued Gazette Notification dated May 1, 2019 on “Guidelines for sale of Biodiesel for blending with high speed diesel for transportation purposes-2019” dated April 30, 2019, the petroleum minister said in the lower house of Indian parliament.

Government has decided to leapfrog directly to BS-VI quality w.e.f. April 1, 2020 in the entire country. Considering the rise in environmental pollution in National Capital Region, Government has started supply of BS-VI auto fuel in National Capital Territory of Delhi from April 1, 2018. Further, in line with the directions issued by the Ministry, supply of BS-VI auto fuel has started in 10 districts of National Capital Region and three other districts and cities outside of National Capital Region -- Karauli, Dhaulpur and city of Agra -- from April 1, 2019, he added.

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