Vastavam web: Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari Wednesday pitched for alternative fuels such as ethanol and methanol along with electric vehicles, reiterating that the government’s policy is to reduce import, enhance exports and curb pollution. The minister, who had last year threatened to “bulldoze” the auto industry to adopt electric vehicles, struck a conciliatory note and said the government was not against petrol and diesel fuels.
Stating that India is facing two major issues pollution and rising imports of fuels Gadkari said, “Import bill is increasing due to the rise in automobile sector. This is the biggest challenge facing our economy and for that we have come out with a programme..” “Alternative fuels is necessary for us,” he said, adding there was a huge potential that can be be tapped from bio-products such as molasses, cotton straw, biomass and corn to produce ethanol which can be used as automotive fuel.
Gadkari, however, added that “alternate fuels cannot progress without your support”. Seeking to address concerns in the automotive industry over the future of conventional fuels, he said, “I am not against petrol, diesel and we are not closing any industry.” Appreciating the “change in the mindset” of auto industry, the minister said the government has already made clear its priority areas to the industry and cited example of how GST on electric vehicles was reduced to promote eco-friendly technology and combat pollution.