Govt working to reduce GST on bio-diesel: Joint Secretary (Refineries), MoP&NG

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New Delhi: Briefly joining the FICCI webinar ‘Biofuel Roadmap for India: Moving towards Green Transportation, Mr Tarun Kapoor, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt of India today applauded FICCI’s efforts in mobilising industry deliberations around biofuels and urged the industry to think from a broader perspective and take quantum jumps to leapfrog from conventional fuel to cleaner, greener automotive fuel choices.

Mr Sunil Kumar, Joint Secretary (Refineries), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt of India, earlier said that the government is considering reduction in the GST rate on bio-diesel, which is currently at 12 percent. The Ministry has also recommended reducing the GST rate on CNG vehicles to 5 percent at par with electric vehicles (EVs). “We have sent the recommendations to the Finance Ministry for consideration,” he added.

In order to provide relief to the industry and promote biogas, Mr Kumar said that the ministry is ensuring easing of cash flow for new entrepreneurs to improve the viability for the CBG (compressed biogas) plants. “We are also coordinating with state governments on biomass aggregation,” he said and added that bio-CBG will take the lead and it will trigger a greater change in both supply and distribution. “It will set the motion for other biofuels to follow,” he added.

Mr Kumar also urged the industry to adopt newer technology. “Our demand along with consumption in the transportation sector, of energy, is increasing. We have a policy on bio-fuel, but unless the transportation sector is also ready to adapt to the changes, it will not be successful.”

Mr O P Agarwal, Chairman, FICCI Taskforce on Future of Mobility and CEO, WRI India said that the growing concern of import dependence on fuel is driving us to work towards bio-fuel. The government has launched sustainable alternatives for affordable transport and this scheme is on compressed bio fuel gas, which ambitiously target about 50 million metric tonnes of gas from 5,000 plants by 2023.

Mr Subodh Kumar, Former ED (Petrochemicals, Alternative Energy & Sustainable Development), Indian Oil; Mr Y B Ramakrishna, Member (Working Group on Bio-fuels), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt of India; Dr Anjan Ray, Director, CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum and Dr Rakesh K Sharma, Associate Professor, IIT Jodhpur also shared their perspective on the future of Bio-fuels in India.

Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI, moderated the session.

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