New Delhi: To encourage use of alternative fuel, the government is contemplating withdrawing import duty on used cooking oil for conversion into bio-diesel which will help curb pollution, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said Wednesday.
Moreover, the bio-diesel obtained from such oil would also be cheaper by Rs 7 (per litre) than the petroleum diesel, the minister said.
"I have talked to Nirmala Sitharaman (Minister of Commerce and Industry). The (cooking) oil is discarded in waste after frying once globally. That oil is available on large scale in the world.
"We will be withdrawing (import) duties on that oil. If that oil comes in the country then bio-diesel will be made from it," Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Gadkari said while addressing Global Partnership Summit on Smart Cities by industry body Assocham.
He further said that "bio-diesel is cheaper by Rs 4 than petroleum diesel but when we will withdraw duty, it will be cheaper by Rs 7."
Vehicles running with alternative fuel not only pollute less but could also be manufactured easily, he said citing the example of Brazil.
In Brazil, majority of vehicles have tanks in which both kinds of fuel could be accommodated, Gadkari added.
The minister also urged farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to switch to ethanol production from sugarcane to reap rich dividends as well as contribute towards minising pollution.
There is also plan to run 100 buses on ethanol and cost effective electric cars are also on anvil as ISRO scientists were developing lithium-ion battery at a cost of barely Rs 5 to 6 lakh instead of global Rs 55 lakh to power buses, he informed.
A study is also in final stages to bury heaps of garbage under highways and expressways to be constructed to minimise pollution, he said.
Discussing other measures to curb pollution, Gadkari said one percent of the highways construction cost has been allocated for greening of highways and under the plan Rs 1,500 crore out of Rs 1.5 lakh highway contracts were earmarked for plantation.