Government plans agency for bio-fuel development

April 1st, 2008 - 9:47 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) India plans to set up a separate agency to promote the development and use of bio-fuels, an official statement said Tuesday. “The ministry of new and renewable energy has been entrusted with the responsibility of setting up a national bio-fuel development board,” the statement said.

The proposal for setting up the board, including its draft terms of reference and composition, has been submitted for necessary approvals.

“The government is already providing subsidy to promote tree-borne oilseeds, including bio-fuel crops, under the integrated development of tree-borne oilseeds scheme.”

A committee headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and comprising representatives from the renewable energy and rural development ministries is tasked with formulating policy guidelines for bio-fuel development.

Ethanol and bio-diesel are key bio-fuels being used as alternative transportation fuels. Sugarcane is a key source of ethanol whereas Jatropha plants are found to be rich in oil that can be converted into biodiesel.

While the government has mandated blending of five percent ethanol with petrol for use as a transportation fuel, there is no similar initiative as yet to promote bio-diesel.

Maharashtra is a leading producer of ethanol in the country even and other states like Chhattisgarh have emerged as key players in bio-diesel usage.

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