Nagpur: The national policy on biofuels, approved by the Cabinet last week would encourage bio-diesel plantations on wastelands, said Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Vilas Muttemwar.
Bio-diesel production will be taken up from non-edible oilseeds in waste or degraded marginal lands.
“An indicative target of 20% by year 2017 for blending of biofuels namely bio-ethanol and bio-diesel has been proposed,” Muttemwar said.
“Oil marketing companies will have to purchase bio-ethanol at a Minimum Purchase Price (MPP) based on actual cost of production and import price of bio-ethanol,” he added.
“In case of bio-diesel, MPP should be linked to prevailing retail diesel price,” Muttemwar added.
“The policy also envisages that the two be brought under the ambit of declared goods by the government to ensure unrestricted movement of biofuels and outside the states,” he said.
Adding further he said that the focus would be on indigenous production of bio-diesel feedstock and import of free fatty acid (ffa) based oils and palms would not be permitted.
The draft prepared by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy was considered by a Group of Ministers (GoM) chaired by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and other Planning Commission members before recommending it to the Cabinet.
The Cabinet also approved setting up an empowered National Biofuel Coordination Committee headed by the Prime Minister and a Biofuel Steering Committee, headed by a cabinet secretary, he said.
The coordination committee, chaired by the Prime Minister consists members including Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Minister of Rural Development, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Environment and Forests, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Science and Technology.
“The steering committee comprises secretaries of finance, rural development, agriculture, petroleum, science, Panchayati Raj, biotechnology, planning commission and scientific industrial research,” Muttemwar said.