Wednesday, August 29, 2007

[PBN] India: new biofuel policy launched


Biofuel: Govt formulates new policy
Tuesday August 28 2007 07:41 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The Orissa Government on Monday came out with its policy
for biofuel production and announced a slew of incentives as well as
measures to promote plantation for the alternative energy.

Under its new Policy Guidelines for Raising Energy Plantations and
Biodiesel Production, the Government expressed its desire to bring under
cultivation at least six lakh hectare of barren and fallow land.
Jatropha and Karanja would be the two oil-bearing seeds that would be
promoted by the State.

At least 20 lakh hectare degraded land is available for energy
plantation in the State. At a high level meeting, chaired by Chief
Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy, the new policy guidelines were finalised
and declared on Monday.

The new policy looks at four different objectives such as using the
degraded land for cultivation of karanja and jatropha, providing a
platform for investors and entrepreneurs, market linkages and quality
control measures.

In all, an entire gamut of issues required to give a serious push to
biofuel are addressed in the policy guidelines. The Government has
appointed Orissa Forest Development Corporation (OFDC) as well as Orissa
Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) as nodal agencies for
promotion of karanja and jatropha plantations respectively.

In fact, Department of Land Resources under Ministry of Rural
Development had sanctioned Rs 4 crore to OFDC for promotion of the
jatropha plantations only. However, the Government has decided to
earmark Rs 2 crore each for jatropha and karanja so as to give equal
emphasis to plantation of the two oil-bearing trees.

It has been decided that free seedlings will be provided under the new
scheme. The State Government has decided to go for jatropha plantations
in 4,000 acres in 15 districts by September end. ��We�ve already gone
ahead with plantation in over 1500 acre land,�� source said.

In fact, the State Government has set itself yearly targets. It aims to
produce at least 14,000 kilo litre of oil along with 42,000 tonne of
additional organic manure and create 100 million man days a year.

To bring in investors and entrepreneurs, the Government has also
announced a slew of subsidies which include 30 percent back-ended credit
linked subsidy through National Oilseeds and Vegetable Board.

Similarly, benefits will be handed out to the farmers. Under this
category, the Government has offered 50 percent subsidy to pani
panchayats, cooperative societies and SHGs, 30 percent for individual
farmers in APL category and 50 percent for farmers groups.

A monitoring committee has been set up under the chairmanship of chief
administrator of KBK with Development Commissioner and 16 other
secretaries as members.

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