Nitin Gadkari

If Ethanol Is ₹2L-Cr Economy, Farmers Get ₹1L Cr: Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has strongly pitched for increasing use of ethanol to reduce dependence on crude oil imports, saying if “ethanol becomes Rs 2 lakh crore economy then Rs 1 lakh crore will go into pockets of farmers”.

In an interview to ANI, he said the increase in the use of ethanol as a biofuel will also lead to a reduction in pollution. He said ethanol will also be produced from farm stubble.

“We exported 60 lakh tonnes of sugar last year and we gave a subsidy of Rs 6,000 crores. We gave the subsidy because sugar prices in Brazil are Rs 22 and prices in India Rs 34. We have 280 lakh tonnes of rice in godowns. There is no place to store it,” he said.

“There is the import of Rs 8 lakh crore crude oil in the country, Instead of this, we want to build Rs 2 lakh crore ethanol economy. At present, it is only Rs 20,000 crores,” he added.

Gadkari said that ethanol is cheaper and there is a need for more production of ethanol to meet the targets of the blending of ethanol with petrol fixed by the government.

“We will make ethanol from rice and maize (makka). We get 380 litres ethanol from a ton of maize while we get 480 litres of ethanol from a ton of rice. The government is ready to buy ethanol. Now we will mix ethanol in diesel, for which, we would need 5,000 crore litres (ethanol),” the minister added.

“Now there are bikes running on ethanol. Farmers will get the benefit. Price of ethanol is Rs 60 per litre where petrol is at Rs 85 per litre. Ethanol is cheaper and is green fuel. If it becomes Rs 2 lakh crore economy then Rs 1 lakh crore will go into pockets of farmers. It has been decided by our government,” he added.

Gadkari said that initiatives for blending ethanol with petrol were taken during the Vajpayee government but got delayed in UPA government and have again be speeded up in the Narendra Modi government.

“Now we are talking about creating Rs 2 lakh crore economy. In the coming time, aeroplanes will run on fuel made from ethanol and the money will go to farmers,” he said.

He said stubble-burning creates the problem of pollution. “But now bio-CNG is being made from stubble. Second-generation ethanol will be made from stubble at an Indian Oil’s project in Panipat. Instead of burning stubble, it will be used for making ethanol. We have brought technology and innovation,” he said. (ANI)

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