Cabinet approves amendments to biofuels policy

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The Union cabinet adopted revisions to the National Policy on Biofuels, 2018, on Wednesday to help India meet its ethanol blending objective.

The adjustments accepted include enabling more feedstocks for biofuel production and moving the ethanol blending objective of 20% with gasoline from 2030 to 2025-26.

Under the Make in India programme, the move will encourage companies in special economic zones (SEZ) and export-oriented units to produce biofuels in India (Eos).

According to a government release, new members will be added to the National Biofuel Coordination Committee. The change also allows for the approval of biofuel export permits in certain circumstances.

The petroleum ministry notified the National Policy on Biofuels, 2018, on June 4, 2018, superseding the National Policy on Biofuels, 2009, published by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

According to the statement, the amendments were made due to advances in the field of biofuels, various decisions made at National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC) meetings to increase biofuel production, recommendations from the standing committee, and the decision to move forward with the introduction of ethanol-blended petrol with up to 20% ethanol across the country beginning April 1, 2023.

According to the government, the measure will encourage the development of indigenous technologies, paving the path for the ‘Make in India’ initiative and generating more jobs. By increasing the production of biofuels, the modifications are intended to cut petroleum imports.

The statement stated that allowing many more feedstocks for biofuel production would assist India in achieving its goal of “energy independence” by 2047.

The modifications also include the addition of additional members to the National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC) and the authority to export biofuels in certain circumstances.

The amendments were made in light of advances in the field of biofuels, various decisions made at NBCC meetings to increase biofuel production, the Standing Committee’s recommendation, and the decision to introduce Ethanol Blended Petrol with up to 20% ethanol across the country beginning April 1, 2023.

The modifications also include the addition of additional members to the National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC) and the authority to export biofuels in certain circumstances.

The amendments were made in light of advances in the field of biofuels, various decisions made at NBCC meetings to increase biofuel production, the Standing Committee’s recommendation, and the decision to introduce Ethanol Blended Petrol with up to 20% ethanol across the country beginning April 1, 2023

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