India planning big boost to ethanol output – report

India is likely to soon announce a package of incentives for boosting ethanol production in order to reduce the country’s imports of crude oil, according to Zee Business.

India is the third-largest importer of crude oil. Nearly 80% of its demand is met through imports, which is the biggest drain on the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a high-level meeting next week to discuss the issue and firm up the package of incentives for ethanol manufacturers, the television news channel reported.

Most of the ethanol in the country is made from sugarcane and sugar-based industries like Praj Industries and India Glycols are expected to benefit from the move. 

The government may announce financial incentives including a loan program for manufacturers. Blending programs for ethanol with petrol (gasoline) have been hampered by slow retail off-take mainly by state-run players who procure the fuel.

Key Indian cities rank among the world”s most polluted and therefore a higher ethanol blending program would not only help to reduce import bills, but also help to clean up the environment.

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