Draft National Bio-fuel Policy sent for approval

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, February 1: | Updated: Feb 2 2008, 02:10am hrs
The draft National Bio-fuel Policy has been sent to the Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by the agriculture minister, Sharad Pawar for approval. After the approval by the GoM it would be approved by the Union Cabinet, said the Union minister for new and renewable energy sources, Vilas Muttemwar.

Inaugurating a national seminar on Climate Change and Biodiesel-2008 orgainsed by the Bio-diesel Association of India in Capital on Friday, he said: "Apart from the proposed National Bio-fuel Policy, the GoM would resolve the inter-ministerial tussle on setting up of National Bio-fuel Mission and National Bio-fuel Development Board by the end of this month or early next month."

Muttemwar said that alternative clean energy technologies like Bio-fuels can bridge the gap between demand and supply of energy and reduce the import dependence for fossil oil. He said that energy security was necessary for the country in maintaining its sustained economic growth rate of 8% to 9% and therefore, the demand for energy was likely to increase four-fold.

He said that the demand for motor spirit was expected to grow from 10 million tonne in 2006-07 to about 12.85 million tonne by 2011-12 and that for diesel from 52 million tonne to 66 million tonne. The domestic supply of crude oil cannot solve the problem, he said as it met only 22% of the energy demand in the country, he said and added that clean and affordable energy was required for both urban and rural areas.

The Union rural development minister, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said that nuclear energy along with the bio-fuel programme was necessary to meet the needs of energy security, reduce fossil oil import dependence and combat climate change. He informed that bio-fuel crops like Jatropha can be cultivated in about 3 crore hectare of culturable wastelands in the country, which would create jobs for the rural people. He alleged that oil companies were against the bio-fuel programme.