Centre should lift restrictions on establishment of ethanol units

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Patna, Aug 13 (UNI) The Bihar Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has expressed its disappointment over the recent amendment in the Sugar Cane Control Order by the Centre, restricting establishment of Independent Ethanol Producing Units in the country.

BCC president O P Sah said here yesterday that the the Chamber had urged the Centre to immediately do away with the amendment prohibiting establishment of independent ethanol producing units all over the country.

In his letter to the Union Minister for Food and Civil Supplies and Union Power Minister, he said the newly-introduced clause needed to be done away with immediate effect.

Terming the recent amendement as ''discriminatory and regressive'', he said that it was adversely affecting the economic growth of Bihar which has got immense growth potential for Ethanol Manufacturing Units.

Speaking on the potentials of sugar and sugar-based industries in Bihar, Mr Shah said the state was a major producer of sugar cane and the government was interested to develop the state as ''Ethanol Hub''.

For this realistic and pragmatic incentives had been extended to boost the sugar sector and sugar-based industries, including Ethanol Producting Units as well as Sugar Cane-based integrated Bio-Energy Plants, which would be helpful in tackling the power shortage in the state.

He said the Bihar government was working on an ambitious project to generate 2,000 MW power in the next three years from Ethanol-based bio-fuel but the Centre had restricted establishment of Independent Ethanol Producing Units.

If such restictions were lifted, Bihar would be able to meet its energy requirements by the year 2011, he said.

Mr Shah further stated that a large number of entrepreneurs from Bihar as well as from outside the state are ready to set up Ethanol Units in Bihar but the recent amendment in the control order had come as a big setback for such entrepreneurs.

He reiterated that the entrepreneurs were committed to transform Bihar as a leading producer of Ethanol which will supplement petroleum products and provide remunerative price to farmers. Such steps would help in the development of the state, he added.

Deliberating about the change incorporated in the Sugar Cane Control Order, the BCC president informed that after the recent amendment, only the Sugar Producing Units would be able to produce Ethanol.

The present availability of huge surplus sugar stack and continuous decline in rate of sugar in the country discourages setting up of new Sugar Mills and subsequently restricts setting up of Ethanol Units.

In such situation he appealed to the Centre to withdraw the ''unjustified'' order and remove impediments in the transformation of Bihar as Ethanol Hub.

UNI RS DPM/src1030

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