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: Particulars of the National Policy on Biofuels
Mains level: Read the attached story.
With emphasis on increasing production of oilseeds
- Rajasthan has become the first State in the country to implement the national policy on biofuels unveiled by the Centre in May this year.
- It will lay emphasis on increasing production of oilseeds and establish a Centre for Excellence in Udaipur to promote research in the fields of alternative fuels and energy resources.
- A biodiesel plant of the capacity of 8 tonnes a day has already been installed in the State with the financial assistance of the Indian Railways.
- The State government would promote marketing of biofuels and generate awareness about them.
- The Minister said the State Rural Livelihood Development Council would also encourage women’s self help groups to explore the scope for additional income through the supply of biodiesel.
National Biofuels Policy, 2018
- The Union Cabinet approved a national policy on biofuels that seeks to not only help farmers dispose of their surplus stock in an economic manner but also reduce India’s oil-import dependence.
- The policy expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing the use of sugarcane juice, sugar-containing materials like sugar beet, sweet sorghum, starch-containing materials like corn, cassava, damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, rotten potatoes that are unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.
- The policy also provides for a viability gap funding scheme of ₹5,000 crore in six years for second generation (more advanced) ethanol bio-refineries in addition to tax incentives and a higher purchase price as compared to first-generation biofuels.
- Farmers are at a risk of not getting appropriate price for their produce during the surplus production phase.
- Taking this into account, the policy allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.