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Will ask petroleum ministry to allow setting up of ethanol pumps: Nitin Gadkari

The move will open up opportunities for sugarcane farmers in the country and create jobs in the agriculture sector, Gadkari said.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 12, 2019, 06.34 PM IST
NEW DELHI: The highways ministry will ask its petroleum counterpart to set up ethanol pumps in the country in a bid to make India's ethanol economy Rs 2 lakh crore in size, minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said.

The move will open up opportunities for sugarcane farmers in the country and create jobs in the agriculture sector, he said.

“We are requesting the petroleum ministry to allow the permission for ethanol pumps.We have a huge potential for manufacturing ethanol in the country,” Gadkari said while addressing a press conference here on Friday.

The ethanol economy last year (FY 19) was Rs 11,000 crores and is expected to go up to Rs 20,000 crore in FY 20, Gadkari said, adding that he is aiming for the sector to become Rs 2 lakh crores in size.

If Rs 2 lakh crores can be diversified for the farmers, it will create more employment for the agriculture sector, reduce the country’s import bill, and contribute to the country’s GDP, Gadkari said.

Gadkari, who is also the minister of micro small and medium enterprises, was speaking at the launch of Chennai-based TVS Motor Company's ethanol-based motorcycle here.

“From the last 12 years, I have been pursuing the Indian automakers to make vehicles which run on 100% bio-ethanol. For our import of crude oil, we are spending more than Rs 7 lakh crores. At the same time we are facing the pollution problem. We don’t need to convince people, especially those in Delhi, about the pollution issue. Now is the time for us to tackle the pollution issue,” Gadkari said.

Gadkari said that the country has sufficient technology for manufacturing ethanol now and must leverage this potential to fight pollution.

He said that so far the petroleum ministry was not willing to allow setting up of petrol pumps because automobile manufacturers were not using ethanol as fuel.

"I will immediately move the note to petroleum ministry now, and take Niti Aayog on board for this," Gadkari said.

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