Speaking during the Conference on Biofuel 2014 here today, the Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shri Nitin Godkari said that his Government would take all efforts to remove hurdles in the increased production and usage of biofuels in the country. While addressing experts on alternative fuels, entrepreneurs, senior government officials and media, the Minister pointed out that India has a large potential for production of biofuels. Present estimates put the potential at 1.2 million tonnes. However, only 60,000 tonnes is being produced, out of which 80 per cent is exported.
Godkari reiterated that, in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s broad objective of “Make in India”, the production of non-edible oilseeds leading to biofuel production needs to be encouraged. He said alternative fuels and hybrid engines will be promoted by his Ministry. The Minister added that oilseeds like Jatropha etc, grow in tribal areas and jungles and encouraging this growth would provide employment to tribals and farmers and thereby increase their income. He also proposed to use wastelands extensively for cultivation of oilseeds. Increased use of biofuels, the Minister stressed, would bring down India’s crude oil import bill and also reduce pollution, as biofuels emit less carbon dioxide.