Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], December 2 (ANI): Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the state to produce ethanol from surplus paddy in the state.
In his letter to Prime Minister Modi, the Chief Minister wrote that at present the sale of surplus paddy available in the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has been allowed to produce ethanol.
"In Chhattisgarh, every year paddy is purchased from farmers at a support price. After the requirement of the state's public distribution system and paddy to the FCI, 6 lakh metric tonnes of surplus paddy is saved every year, which puts an unnecessary burden on the state's economic resources," Baghel said.
Baghel informed the Prime Minister in his letter that bio-fuels are included in the list of high priority industries in the new industrial policy of the state. "Special incentive package for bio-fuels industries has been announced. A memorandum of understanding has also been signed with four private investors to set up a bio-ethanol plant," he stated.
The Chief Minister informed that in the last 18 months, efforts have been made by his government to allow the production of bio-ethanol from the excess paddy produced in the state towards the National Bio-fuels Policy, 2018 and its goal. In the April 20, 2020 meeting of the National Bio-fuels Coordination Committee, permission has been granted to sell surplus paddy available in FCI for producing ethanol, he stressed.
Stating that surplus paddy caused an unnecessary burden on the state's economic resources, Baghel said: "The amount of paddy purchased at the support price in the Kharif marketing year 2018-19 and 2019-20 in Chhattisgarh was surplus even after the required quantity in the state's public distribution system in state pool and the paddy supplied to the FCI in the central pool."
Baghel highlighted the "role of state governments is important to attract investors in the field of bioethanol production", adding that the National Biofuels Committee (NBCC) has been established under the National Biofuels Policy 2018 under the chairmanship of the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, through which there is a provision to allow ethanol production from surplus paddy.
"If there is a real investment in a special area like bio-ethanol in Chhattisgarh under the state industrial policy, then the capacity addition of bio-ethanol production will not only solve the surplus paddy of the state, but also the FCI. There will also be a possibility of disposal of surplus paddy. The surplus rice stored in the states will be allocated to bio-ethanol plants by FCI (DCP)," the CM mentioned.
He has requested Prime Minister Modi to provide necessary instructions to the Ministry of Natural Gas to provide permission to Chhattisgarh for production of ethanol from the estimated surplus 6 lakh MT of paddy purchased on the support price every year. (ANI)