Government wants to diversify from agricultural products to energy sector: Union Minister

The Ministry of Road Transport has advised car manufacturers to produce flex-engine vehicles that can run on both gasoline and ethanol

The Ministry of Road Transport has advised car manufacturers to produce flex-engine vehicles that can run on both gasoline and ethanol

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said the ministry had issued a notice to automakers to produce vehicles with flex engines that can use gasoline as well as fuel. ethanol. There was a need to diversify from agriculture to energy and power sector and make India an ethanol economy, the minister said.

India, Mr Gadkari told members of the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) in Mangaluru, has huge potential for agricultural commodities. “Once facing a shortage of food grains, the country now has a surplus. We are unable to find space to store food grains,” the minister said during an interaction with KCCI officials, including President Shashidhar Pai Maroor and others, on February 28.

A few automakers, including Suzuki, Hyundai, Toyota Kirloskar, are already working on the ministry’s notice and flex-engine vehicles could be on the roads within six months. Currently, about 400 crore liters of ethanol are produced annually for a 10% combination with gasoline. When flex-engine vehicles start rolling out of factories, the country could need 2,000 crore liters of ethanol a year.

Mr Gadkari said that with the government approving ethanol policy and opening up the sector to private players, there was room for more than 300 companies to produce ethanol when flex-engine vehicles were on. the road in a few years. “We have a surplus of rice, a surplus of maize and a surplus of sugar cane, and are spending huge sums to provide a minimum support price. If surplus agricultural products are used to produce ethanol, farmers will also get good returns in addition to the country saving on import bills,” the minister said.

Chiradi Ghat

Mr. Gadkari said he was aware of the connectivity issues facing the Karnataka coast in the form of Shiradi Ghat on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru National Highway 75. For this reason, the contractors depended on the east coast ports instead of transacting through the New Mangalore Port Trust.

There is no dearth of funds, Gadkari said, urging the Karnataka government to provide land and forests for the execution of the tunnel bypass project on Shiradi Ghat. “As soon as I get the clearing of land and forests, I will issue tenders for the execution of the project,” he said.

Mr. Gadkari also suggested entrepreneurs on the coast design an entrepreneurship course in educational institutions and leave connectivity issues to them. There are many institutes offering courses in medicine, engineering and management in Mangaluru, but none on entrepreneurship. “A course on entrepreneurship would support the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative,” he said.

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