Govt aims to boost methanol economy to Rs 2 lakh cr, says Union minister Nitin Gadkari

New Delhi: India endeavours to take the Rs 11,000 crore methanol economy to about Rs 2 lakh crore in five years in a bid to promote cleaner fuel and cut down on the huge crude oil import bills, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday.

The transport minister, who inaugurated electric vehicle expo here, cautioned the manufacturers not to compromise on quality by importing substandard parts from China.

"India is now electricity surplus and there is also an abundance of coal and solar power. Government's thrust is to promote import substitute, cost-effective and pollution free transport that includes electric mobility.

"It is our endeavour to take Rs 11,000 crore methanol economy to Rs 1.5-2 lakh crore economy in five years," Gadkari said in his inaugural address.

He said methanol was priced at Rs 12 a litre in Israel, Rs 16 a litre in China and Rs 22 a litre in India and was much cheaper than petrol and diesel.

 Govt aims to boost methanol economy to Rs 2 lakh cr, says Union minister Nitin Gadkari

File photo of Union minister Nitin Gadkari. PTI

The minister said the electric mobility space has seen many changes in the last one year with e-rickshaws reaching every nook and corner of the country besides the advent of electric auto-rickshaws and bikes.

"A huge amount of foreign exchange goes out of the country due to crude oil imports. We need to check it...," the minister said adding that the government entity WAPCOS has inked a pact with Austria's Doppelmayr Group in the area of ropeways to provide mobility in hilly terrains besides tough areas.

Cautioning against the use of substandard parts in e-rickshaws and e-carts, Gadkari said the idea behind relaxation in norms was to benefit the poor and check the inhuman practice of hand-held rickshaws, and not profiteering.

"Pay attention to quality and standard. Do not compromise on quality with cheap imports of parts from China, else the government will take hard steps," he warned the industry.

A joint venture was also announced between Keto Motors and Kyto Green Technologies with the unveiling of electric auto 'KYTO'.

Goenka Electric's CEO Zafar Iqbal said his company planned to spend USD 5 million in India in two years time and will manufacture 20,000 units of high-speed electric auto 'Super King'.

MD of Saarthi brand of e-rickshaw Ashwani Sehgal said his company planned to manufacture 1,000 units of electric auto-launched during the expo. The company launched electric auto 'Shavak'.

Altius Technologies said it plans to expand its operations.

The government is taking steps for implementing methanol economy in India and has constituted five task forces including one on its production from high ash coal.

"Niti Aayog has set up an apex committee and five task forces under it for carrying out R&D activities and developing roadmap for implementing methanol economy in India," the government said Thursday.

It said India imported 212.7 million tonne of crude oil in 2016-17 and estimated that a 15 percent methanol blending can result in the replacement of around 31.9 million tonne of crude oil.

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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2018 15:45:07 IST