Government should review ethanol policy: Kalam
Thursday, 28 May 2009, 09:47 Hrs
Gandhinagar: Former Indian president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has urged the government to review its ethanol policy to encourage more sugar producers to start producing biofuel on a commercial scale. "The sugar producers need sufficient incentives from the government to be encouraged to produce a large quantity of ethanol," Kalam said while addressing the first convocation ceremony of the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University here late Wednesday. "The prime issue is the pricing of the ethanol, which is not attractive enough for the sugar producers," said the former president. At present, the government allows blending of five percent ethanol with petrol. In the next phase, this may go up to 10 percent, giving a boost to the industry, Kalam hoped. He added that an increase in the demand of biofuel would help farmers who cultivate jatropha and algae, from which the fuel is largely being produced in India, earn more income. According to Kalam, the argument that using plants for biofuel production would lead to food crisis is a "wrong notion". "This is certainly not true for India which has nearly 60 million hectares of waste land. Research is required to determine the particular plant variety which would give maximum yield of jatropha seeds and maximum yield of oil from the seeds," he added. On the country's power generation scenario, the former president said India's capacity had to increase to 400,000 MW by 2030 from the current level of 150,000 MW. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in his address said the state had done well industrially and commercially and should now strive to shine in the academic field. "I invite the youth of the country to adopt Gujarat as their 'karmabhoomi' (place of work)," he said. A total of 119 students who completed their MBA in Petroleum Management were conferred with the degrees.