PM wants ethanol blending in petrol ramped up to 10%

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that ethanol blending in petrol should be increased to 10 per cent over time. Public sector oil marketing companies are expected to supply four per cent ethanol blended petrol by procuring 120 crore litre of bio-fuel by September 2016.

The issue was raised at a performance review of the first quarter of key infrastructure sectors that was taken by the Prime Minister. At present, the bio-diesel and ethanol industry in India is worth ₹6,000 crore but it is expected to touch ₹50,000 crore by 2022, based on the demand of petrol and diesel in the country. Currently, the bio-fuel market is mainly driven by ethanol procurement.

“Reviewing the progress in the petroleum and natural gas sector, the Prime Minister sought to know the steps being taken to ramp up ethanol blending of petrol,” said an official release. Meanwhile, Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog, in a presentation to the Prime Minister said the country’s oil and gas sector will receive $10 billion worth of investments. The Prime Minister is understood to have also directed all Secretaries to reduce processes, enhance efficiency and focus on technology improvement.

“Incremental change will not help achieve India’s transformation. A big, transformational jump needed,” he said. The Prime Minister was also briefed on plans and strategies to further ramp up solar energy production, including through rooftop generation. “In the new and renewable energy sector, the cumulative installed capacity has crossed 44 GigaWatts,” said the release.

Solar energy in transport

He also sought a report on deployment of solar energy in the transport sector, on lines of solar powered engines in railways and underlined the potential of roof-top solar. Meanwhile, at the meeting the Prime Minister was also informed that over 15 crore households have been included in Direct Benefit Transfer for cooking gas in 2015-16.

The meeting also reviewed the progress in railways, aviation, ports and rural housing. The Prime Minister was also briefed on steps being taken to further boost regional connectivity, and further improve customer satisfaction indices at airports. “In the rural housing sector, 6.94 lakh rural houses have been completed in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, as compared to a target of 6 lakh houses,” said the release.

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