India's first Biofuel-powered flight was successfully tested for domestic operations on Monday between Dehradun and New Delhi. The Bio-fuel is expected to reduce India's dependency on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) and help bring down air fares.
The SpiceJet aircraft was flagged off by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and was received in New Delhi by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, Petroleum and Natural Gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Civil Aviation minister Suresh Prabhu, and Science and Technology minister, Harsh Vardhan.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet Ajay Singh, and senior government and aviation officials were also present on the occasion.
“On August 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the new Bio-fuel policy and today we have successfully implemented it in the aviation sector. This is a great achievement for clean energy, Biofuel energy and aviation industry. The Petroleum Ministry will soon come up with a new BioATF policy,” Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
He said, ATF price is the key component in the aviation industry, and in the coming days, India is hoping to reduce its import dependency in this area. “In the emerging aviation industry, this will be beneficial for everybody since it is not only economical but also environment-friendly. It would help generate employment and additional income for the farmers,” Pradhan said.
“The GST (Goods and Service Tax) on Bio-diesel has been reduced to 12 per cent from 18 per cent. On Ethanol it has been reduced to 5 per cent. Last year, we bought 3,500 crore of Ethanol, and it would increase. There would also be an increase in the business of Bio-diesel and Bio-CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). We have achieved the most challenging aspect that is to find a substitute for the ATF. And, in the coming days, there would be a rise in bio-energy from all sides, be it ATF, transportation liquid fuel, or CNG,” Pradhan added.
Speaking on the effects of Bio-fuel on aviation fuel prices, Road Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari said the government is working to bring down the cost of this fuel.
“It is Rs 70 per litre today. This would be reduced to Rs 55/litre soon and the manufacturing of aviation fuel will increase in India. There is already the market of Rs 30,000 crore. The tribal and farmers will get jobs from this process. We will increase the productivity using biotechnology. We had a discussion with the Petroleum Minister on making a special policy on Bio-fuel ATF and then bringing it in the cabinet,” Gadkari said.
According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), aviation industry contributes to 2% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the world. The advantage of Bio-fuel as compared to ATF is that it reduces carbon emissions and enhances fuel efficiency.
(With inputs from agencies)
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