Nitin Gadkari says surging petrol prices ‘agitating’ people, advocates use of alternate biofuels

NAGPUR/NEW DELHI: Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the country’s first commercial liquified natural gas (LNG) filling station in Nagpur on Sunday and said more use of alternate fuels such as LNG, CNG or ethanol would bring respite from surging petrol prices, which are now “agitating” people.
Gadkari said the use of ethanol as vehicle fuel would help save at least Rs 20 per litre despite its lower calorific value compared to petrol. His ministry is likely to announce a policy for flex-fuel engines soon, which will encourage automobile manufacturers to produce them. These engines can run on more than one fuel and also a mixture of fuels.
The minister said indigenous fuels such as ethanol, methanol and bio-CNG would give tough competition to imported crude oil and that’s the only way to get the best price for consumers.
Gadkari said he had urged the government to privatise the petroleum and natural gas sector, which has already been opened up. Last year, the petroleum ministry simplified guidelines for authorisation for bulk and retail marketing of petrol and diesel. This was done to increase private sector participation in the marketing of petrol and diesel.
“Now, we have invited all private companies, including PSUs, in the field. Even you can import LNG,” he said, adding the clean fuel has a great future in the country. LNG is emerging as the most preferred fuel for long-haul transport across the globe.
“In our economy, we are spending Rs 8 lakh crore for the import of petrol, diesel and petroleum products which is a big challenge… Being a nationalist I want that our import should reduce and export must increase.” (Agency)