With the Centre focusing more on developing alternative fuel economy, India will soon stop importing petroleum products, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways. Nitin Gadkari said Tuesday.
"We are going to develop this country where our import of petroleum will be zero ansd we would promote alternative fuel like ethanol, methanol, bio-CNG. This will boost the rural and agriculture centre and create huge employment," said the Minister.
India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. At present, it is a golden opportunity to cash on its agriculture, bamboo, surplus coal and power.
Despite low prices globally, India at present is incurring a massive Rs 4.5 lakh crore on crude imports which was earlier Rs 7.5 lakh crore, Gadkari said addressing a conference on methanol economy organized by Niti Aayog today.
"The time has come to diversify agriculture too," the minister stated. It has the potential to change the entire rural economy at a time when more than 10,000 farmers in Vidarbha region had committed suicide.
"The socio-economic situation is not good, agriculture is facing acute problems. This alternative fuel economy is going to change socio-economic picture of agriculture and rural economy,” he added.
“This is time for us to plan the way by which we can save the life of people in rural and agriculture sectors. We can make ethanol from biomass that is cotton straw, wheat straw, rice straw etc and even from municipal waste we can make ethanol," the minister said.
Stressing on "waste to wealth", he said manufacturing ethanol and biogas from waste could result in savings to the tune of Rs 5 lakh crore annually.
He added it will eliminate pollution too as farmers in states like Haryana burnt wheat straw which caused pollution. Besides, municipal waste and waste of vegetables and fruits can be used in manufacturing bio-fuel.