Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Government of India said while addressing the inaugural session of the 9th Edition of CII Bio-Energy Summit 2019: Farm2Fuel, organized in the capital today, “India is among the world’s fastest growing economies and is committed in raising the livelihood of the people in a sustainable manner. We are not a pollutant country and carbon footprint is not a major issue. However, India plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 33-35% from 2005 levels by 2030”.
Appreciating CII’s timing of this mega event to the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s visit to the US where he would be addressing the UN general Assembly today with special focus on environment, Mr Pradhan added that, “Currently, 4.5 crore Indians are purchasing energy every day. The only challenge is our diverse consumer base and economic independence. Today, India has 600 mmtpa of bio-waste and even with a small 5 per cent yield, there is an estimated saving of $15 billion, which could be looked as a new business model. Our recent reforms like low tax rate, government patronage and 100 per cent assured offtake will accelerate this opportunity.”
Echoing similar thoughts Mr Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport & Highways, and MSME, Government of India emphasized that “There is a need for diversification of agriculture into energy. This will not only increase farmers income but also enhance employment and reduce the country’s dependence on petroleum products.”
He urged the industry to explore possibilities of conversion of energy crops into ethanol and bio compressed natural gas (bio-CNG). The Government of India recently allowed production of ethanol by reconverting sugar as this is an economically viable option. Further, farmers could easily produce ethanol from other feedstock like bamboo, rice straw, cotton straw and wheat straw. He added that innovation, entrepreneurship, technology and research are required in agriculture”.
Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry applauded the government on its consistent emphasis on sustainable economy and said “The government is undertaking several measures to check the surging oil import bill, including redoubled efforts to increase domestic production, redrawing exploration rules to encourage investments, and developing a domestic gas-based economy on a nation-wise piped gas network. Further, the government’s step in enhancing energy conservation in industry, public services and domestic usage is noteworthy.”
Given that road transportation alone contributes around 4% of India’s GDP and is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, Mr Banerjee added, “We are happy that our Government has undertaken reforms in the transport sector, with strong emphasis on development and deployment of commercially viable alternatives like bio-fuels and electric vehicles.”
23 September 2019