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NEW DELHI: The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved amendments to the National Policy on Biofuels, 2018, to advance India's ethanol blending target. 

The amendments approved include allowing more feedstocks for production of biofuels, advancing ethanol blending target of 20% with petrol by five years to 2025-26 from 2030.

The decision would promote production of biofuels in the country, under the Make in India programme, by units located in special economic zones (SEZ) and export oriented units (EoUs). New members would now be added to the National Biofuel Coordination Committee, as per a government statement.

The amendment also allows granting of permission for export of biofuels in specific cases.

The National Policy on Biofuels, 2018, was notified by the petroleum ministry on 4 June, 2018, in supersession of National Policy on Biofuels, promulgated through the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, in 2009.

The statement said amendments have been brought about due to advancements in the field of Biofuels, various decisions taken in the National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC) meetings to increase biofuel production and recommendation of the standing committee and the decision to advance to introduce ethanol blended petrol with up to 20% ethanol throughout the country from 1 April, 2023.

The move will foster development of indigenous technologies which will pave the way for ‘Make in India’ drive and thereby generate more employment, according to the government.

The amendments are expected to reduce import of petroleum products by generation of more biofuels. Since many more feedstocks are being allowed for production of biofuels, it would help India achieve its aim of ‘energy independence’ by 2047, the statement said.

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