Production will be taken up from non-edible oil seeds

Minimum support price will be announced periodically

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the national policy on bio-fuels and its implementation. It also gave its nod for setting up of a National Bio-fuel Coordination Committee and a Bio-fuel Steering Committee. The new policy endeavours to facilitate and bring about optimal development and utilisation of indigenous biomass feed stocks for production of bio-fuels.

According to an official statement by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the salient features of the new policy include bio-diesel production will be taken up from non-edible oil seeds in waste/degraded /marginal lands; an indicative target of 20 per cent blending of bio-fuels, both for bio-diesel and bio-ethanol, by 2017 has been proposed; minimum support price (MSP) for non-edible oil seeds would be announced with periodic revision to provide fair price to the growers; minimum purchase price (MPP) for purchase of bio-ethanol and bio-diesel would be announced with periodic revision; major thrust will be given to research, development and demonstration with focus on plantations, processing and production of bio-fuels, including second generation bio-fuels and financial incentives, including subsidies and grants.

If it becomes necessary, a National Bio-fuel Fund could be considered.

A National Bio-fuel Coordination Committee, headed by the Prime Minister, will be set up to provide policy guidance and coordination. A Bio-fuel Steering Committee, chaired by Cabinet Secretary, will be set up to oversee implementation of the policy.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has been designated as the co-ordinating Ministry for bio-fuel development and utilisation while specific roles have been assigned to other ministries concerned.

An Indo-U.S. MoU has been signed on bio-fuels with focus on joint R&D, particularly on second generation bio-fuels such as, cellulosic ethanol and algal biodiesel.