Plea to PM not to yield to petrol lobby

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Bangalore,Feb21 (PTI) BJP President Nitin Gadkari today saidhe will appeal to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to yieldto the petroleum lobby and encourage production of bio-dieselthrough effective implementation of bio-fuel policy.

"I will ensure that party MPs raise the issue in Parliamentand will also meet the Prime Minister and request him toaccelerate the implementation of bio-fuel policy", he saidat a two-day national conference on ''effectiveimplementation of bio fuels programme'' which began here.

He said implementation of bio-fuel policy had been impededby the "petroleum lobby which is very strong and is againstfarmers growing bio-fuel crops and also the liquor lobby whichfears that if ethanol is produced, there will not be enoughmolasses left for production of Indian Made Foreign Liquor."

The Centre must give top priority and encourage ruralfarmers across the country with the help of NGOs to growbio-fuel crops in wasteland which will not only help generateemployment for the rural youth and the poor but will also helpin the economic development of the farmers and thereby growthof the agriculture sector, Gadkari said.

"I feel a step like this will help provide jobs forat least two crore rural youth", he said.

Initiatives like non-imposition of tax on bio diesel,removing restrictions on marketing of bio-diesel will go along way in production of bio-diesel, a bio-fuel which iseco-friendly and is an answer to the energy crisis in theimpending future, Gadkari said.

One has to keep in mind that bio-fuel is an important"import substitute as 34 per cent of the nation''s budget isspent on importing bio-fuel and by encouraging indigenousproduction of bio-fuel, we will be saving approximately Rs 3.4lakh crore", he said.

Describing Karnataka as one of the pioneer states inencouraging bio-fuel production by setting up of bio-fuelparks and motivating farmers to grow bio-fuel crops onwasteland, Gadkari appealed to Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappato provide some grants for establishing bio-diesel plants inrural areas.

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