Time for India to look to alternative fuel sources: Nitin Gadkari

Union minister for road transport and highways, shipping, water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari today said it is time for the country to go for alternative fuel sources such as ethanol, methanol and bio-diesel.

Speaking at the inauguration of India Chem 2018 - the 10th Biennial International Exhibitions and Conference, `Chemical and Petrochemicals - Advantage India’, in Mumbai on Thursday, the minister said ethanol is the future and government has decided to increase its production. The cabinet has given approval for a plan to finance ethanol factories.
The minister said the country needs to reduce its imports and increase exports and new initiatives for import substitution are very important and need to be supported.
He said India is the fastest growing large economy and those investing in India will have a huge advantage. He cited the vast reserve of minerals and manpower available as two strengths of India. Gadkari said, India is doing well in technology, entrepreneurship, innovation and R&D and that a lot of new research is happening through which India can work miracles in the world, particularly in petrochemicals.
He said India has huge potential in the sector but it needs to be cost-effective and pollution-free. He spoke of the need for transparency, investment and at the same time encouragement of exports.
Speaking about the importance of diversification in agriculture towards the needs of the energy and power sector, Gadkari said new crops have to be identified. The minister exhorted the industry to explore the possibility of using agricultural material for making chemicals, which he said can be a great game changer for the country.
The minister spoke of the importance of ecology and environment, and highlighted that bio-plastics can be made from ethanol. Organic plastics can give a new vision for the petrochemicals industry, he said.
Secretary in the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals P Raghavendra Rao said chemical and petrochemical production, start-up culture, ease of doing business and innovation are the factors that make India is a global destination for investment. The chemicals and petrochemicals industry has been growing at 6.2 per cent, he added.
Between 2014 and 2018, net import of chemicals to the country has grown at 5.8 per cent in volume and is projected to reach $304 billion by 2025. 
Over 300 leading chemical and petrochemical companies from all over the world mostly from Iran, China, Japan, United Kingdom, Spain, USA, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Turkey and South East Asian countries are participating as exhibitors, delegates and visitors.
India Chem 2018 is the largest event of Chemicals and Petrochemical Industry in India, jointly organised by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India and FICCI.