Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: World Biofuel Day
Mains level: The newscard summarizes various initiatives by government to reduce dependence of fossil fuels.
World Biofuel Day
- It is observed every year on 10th August to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels.
- It is also aimed to highlight the various efforts made by the Government in the biofuel sector.
- It is being observed by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for the last three years.
Focus on Biofuel generation
- Biofuels have the benefits of reducing import dependency on crude oil, cleaner environment, and additional income to farmers and employment generation in rural areas.
- The biofuels programme is also in synergy with the Government of India initiatives for Make in India, Swachh Bharat and enhancing farmers’ income.
- The interventions include administrative price mechanism for ethanol, simplifying the procurement procedures of OMCs, amending the provisions of Industries (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951 and enabling lignocellulosic route for ethanol procurement.
Outcomes of Bio-fuel Programme
- Ethanol blending in petrol has increased from 38 crore litres in the ethanol supply year 2013-14 to an estimated 141 crore litres in the ethanol supply year 2017-18.
- Oil PSUs are also planning to set up 12 Second Generation (2G) Bio-refineries to augment ethanol supply and address environmental issues arising out of burning of agricultural biomass.
National Policy on Biofuels-2018
- The policy has the objective of reaching 20% ethanol-blending and 5% biodiesel-blending by the year 2030.
- The policy expands the scope of feedstock for ethanol production and has provided for incentives for production of advanced biofuels.
- Recently the Government has increased the price of C-heavy molasses-based ethanol to Rs. 43.70 from Rs. 40.85 to give a boost to EBP Programme.
- Price of B-heavy molasses-based ethanol and sugarcane juice-based ethanol has been fixed for the first time at Rs. 47.40.
- The Government has reduced GST on ethanol for blending in fuel from 18% to 5%.