New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the use of biofuel would infuse new energy in the 21st century India while stressing that the use of the eco-friendly fuel would change the lives of the people.
Addressing a diverse gathering of farmers, scientists, students, entrepreneurs, government officials and legislators at the Vigyan Bhawan here to mark World Biofuel Day, Prime Minister Modi said, "Biofuel means the fuel emanating from crops and which is derived from waste. Biofuel is not just science but it is the mantra which will give new energy to India of the 21st century."
The Prime Minister elucidated that the use of the eco-friendly fuel would create new employment opportunities in the country, save the country's foreign exchange reserves and would not affect the environment.
Stressing on his government's vision to promote biofuel in the country, Prime Minister Modi underlined, "This is a part of our broad vision for the country to introduce this eco-friendly fuel, where cleanliness and the path of the prosperity of the villages in India and the health of the poor farmers are key priorities. It is going to change the lives of all from villages to cities."
He recalled that the plan of sugarcane-based ethanol production was started by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in the 2000s.
Prime Minister Modi continued and said, "In the last decade, efforts were not made to promote biofuel. Now, when our government was formed in the Centre in 2014, a roadmap was prepared. We started implementing the Ethanol Blending Programme thereafter."
He said that more use of biofuel would increase farmers' income and create employment opportunities.
Prime Minister Modi urged all the people to contribute in the government's efforts of pushing biofuel as a useful eco-friendly fuel in all parts of the country.
The Prime Minister informed that by mixing ethanol with petrol, the country had saved Rs. 4,000 crores of foreign exchange last year. He said that his government's goal was to save about Rs. 12,000 crores in the next four years, while pushing for the promotion of eco-friendly fuels.
"10 per cent ethanol mix with petrol by 2022 and 20 per cent by 2030 is what the government is aiming to achieve. All agricultural waste and discard can be used for ethanol production and reducing farm wastage," Prime Minister Modi said.
He added that the central government was working to make BioCNG from garbage.
Talking on the reduction of CNG usage in public transport, Prime Minister Modi further said, "CNG usage is being ramped up in public transport. We are trying to reduce dependence on CNG import. Soon we will have CNG vehicles in all villages."
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas organised the programme to mark the importance of biofuels and to highlight the various efforts made by the Centre in the biofuel sector. The ministry has been observing the World Biofuel Day for the last three years on August 10.
The central government also approved the National Policy on Biofuels in June.
Biofuels help reduce import dependency on crude oil and can also contribute to a cleaner environment, generate additional income for farmers and generate employment in rural areas.