The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the mechanism for revision of ethanol price for public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) to carry out the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme.
For the next sugar season 2016-17, during ethanol supply period from 1st December, 2016 to 30th November, 2017, the administered price of ethanol for the EBP Programme will be Rs 39 per litre. The Government in December 2014 had fixed the prices at Rs. 48.5 per litre while it was never paid to the sugar mills at that rate rather the mills were paid at the rate of Rs 42 per litre.
Additionally, charges will be paid to the ethanol suppliers as per actuals in case of Excise Duty and VAT/GST and transportation charges as decided by OMCs.
If the need arises to increase/reduce the retail selling price of Petrol by Public Sector OMCs, then such increase/reduction would proportionately factor in the requirement of maintaining the fixed cost of purchase of ethanol during the ethanol supply year.
The prices of ethanol will be reviewed and suitably revised by Government at any time during the ethanol supply period that is from 1st December, 2016 to 30th November, 2017, depending upon the prevailing economic situation and other relevant factors.
The revision in ethanol prices will facilitate the continued policy of the Government in providing price stability and remunerative prices for ethanol suppliers.
Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme was launched by the Government in 2003 which has been extended to the Notified 21 States and 4 Union Territories to promote the use of alternative and environment friendly fuels. This intervention also sought to reduce import dependency for energy requirements.
However, since 2006, OMCs were not able to receive offers for the required quantity of ethanol against the tenders floated by them due to various constraints like state specific issues, supplier related issues including pricing issues of ethanol.
In order to augment the supply of ethanol, a need was felt to put in place a new mechanism for pricing of ethanol. Accordingly, the Government in December, 2014 decided that the delivered price of ethanol at OMC depots would be fixed in the range of Rs. 48.50 per litre to 49.50 per litre including Central/State Government taxes and transportation charges.
The decision has helped in significantly improving the supply of ethanol. Ethanol supplies increased to 67.4 crore litres in 2014-15 and the projected supplies for ethanol supply year 2015-16 are around 120 crore litres. The objective to fix the delivered price of ethanol has been achieved to a large extent. In view of firming of sugar prices, falling crude prices and consequent under-recoveries of OMCs on this account, a need to re-examine the pricing of ethanol under EBP Programme has been felt.