The government has set a ten-year deadline for the blending of petrol and diesel with 20 per cent bio-fuel, aimed at reducing energy-starved India’s dependence on imported crude oil.
The Cabinet on Thursday approved the implementation of the National Biofuel Policy that has set an indicative target of blending 20 per cent ethanol in petrol and non-edible oil from plants like Jatropha in diesel by 2017, an official statement said.
At present, 5 per cent ethanol blending in petrol is mandatory across the country, except Jammu & Kashmir, northeastern states and island territories.
India is the world’s second largest producer of sugar after Brazil. Ethanol is produced from molasses, a sugar by-product. The country imports more than 70 per cent of its crude oil requirements.
Ethanol production is concentrated in UP, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, AP, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bihar.