The decision was taken on Monday at a meeting of the National Biofuel Coordination Committee
A small fraction of excess foodgrains will be converted into ethanol for utilisation in making alcohol-based hand-sanitizers and for mixing with petrol
New Delhi: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has decided to seek excess foodgrains from FCI (Food Corporation of India) for converting it into ethanol for use in the fight against COVID pandemic. The decision was taken on Monday at a meeting of the National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC) which was chaired by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
The ministry said in a tweet, “Minister P&NG Shri @dpradhanbjp held a meeting of the National Biofuel Coordination Committee, abiding by the norms of social distancing. Shri Pradhan discussed ways in which the biofuel industry can assist the country in stepping-up the fight against #Covid19.”
Petroleum ministry seeks excess rice from FCI
The committee took the important decision to allow conversion of a small fraction of excess foodgrains into ethanol for utilisation in making alcohol-based hand-sanitizers and also for further augmenting the Ethanol Blending Program in India, said Petroleum Ministry in a tweet.
Minister P&NG Shri @dpradhanbjp held a meeting of the National Biofuel Coordination Committee, abiding by the norms of social distancing.
— Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (@PetroleumMin) April 20, 2020
For the purpose, it was decided that the ministry will reach out to FCI for getting excess rice available with it.
National Policy on Biofuels, 2018 envisages that during an agriculture crop year when there is projected over supply of foodgrains as anticipated by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the policy will allow conversion of these surplus quantities of foodgrains to ethanol, based on the approval of the National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
Media reports that came out in March had claimed that FCI and NAFED had surplus stock of wheat, rice and pulses. While FCI and government agencies had 50 million tonnes of rice and 27.5 million tonnes of wheat, as on March 1, NAFED had 2.5-2.8 million tonne of pulses — Chana, Tur, Urad and Moong and another 0.7 million tonne groundnut and mustard.