Almost 67 crore litres of ethanol was blended with petrol in 2016-17 which had resulted in foreign exchange saving of about Rs 1,750 crore and lowered while carbon emission, the government said today. Replying to queries during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said surplus and damaged foodgrains would be used to produce ethanol, which will increase its availability for ethanol blended petrol. “In the year 2016-17, as much as 66.5 crore litres of ethanol were blended in petrol which resulted in foreign exchange impact of Rs 1,749 crore while carbon emission was reduced to the extent of 13.23 lakh tonnes,” he said.
Responding to concerns expressed by members, Pradhan said the steps taken would in no way create any scarcity. “We will not allow any scarcity of food grains,” he said. Explaining the government’s perspective, he said the sugar industry was stressed while on the other hand there was a huge import bill.
The intent was to balance the factors also with an aim to double the income of farmers, he said, adding that ethanol could be produced through sugarcane, broken rice and surplus corn. The minister said the decision in this regard would be taken by Agriculture, Food, Finance and Petroleum ministries. Answering queries, he said there was permission to generate liquor from damaged foodgrains.