Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said adoption of methanol as an alternative source of energy has the potential to bring about socio-economic change in the country.According to the Minister for Road, Transport, Highway and Shipping, the move can bring down the fuel import bill. "Surplus fund could be diverted in developing the rural economy. As rural areas are a source of feedstock for methanol, it would provide additional income and also become a source of livelihood for rural folks," Gadkari was quoted as saying in an official statement.The minister was speaking at the inaugural session of an international seminar on "India's Leap into Methanol Economy" which was held here. Gadkari pointed out that rural areas are a source of feedstock for methanol."Rice straw is burnt in many parts of the country causing pollution. Instead, this could be used for making methanol. Hence methanol has the potential of boosting the rural economy," the minister said.During the conference, an agreement of "Statement of Intent" was signed between NITI Aayog and Methanol Institute of USA.