Pune: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said the Centre is making efforts to find long-term solutions to tackle the increase in petrol and diesel prices and suggested that India should move to "alternative" fuels. The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways was addressing a press conference here to highlight the Modi government's achievements in the last four years.
The government is making efforts to find long-term solutions to tackle the fuel price hike issue, he said when asked about the soaring prices of petrol and diesel. "We have already stopped the subsidy on petrol and diesel, and we are giving LPG connections to 8 crore people. We could give the LPG connections to so many people because we stopped the subsidy on petrol and diesel," Gadkari said.
Pitching for alternative fuel such as ethanol, methanol, bio-diesel, bio-CNG and electric, to address the fuel price hike issue, he said, "India is importing petrol and diesel worth Rs 8 lakh crore and long-term efforts are being taken to bring the expenditure down."
"To do this we need to move towards alternative fuels," Gadkari said.
He assured that within six months, several automobile companies will bring vehicles that can run on these alternative fuels which are cheaper than crude oils. "As far as electric vehicles are concerned, 13 companies are being set up to manufacture lithium-ion batteries," the minister said. He assured that by moving towards alternative fuels, people could save up to Rs 4,000 per month and that could happen in the next six months.
On bringing petrol and diesel under the Goods and Services Tax, Gadkari said by bringing these under the GST, fuel prices can be cut by up to Rs 8.
While highlighting the achievements of the Modi government in various departments in the last four years, he said agriculture is the sector which needs to be worked on more extensively.
"We are a fastest growing economy, but the state of agriculture is not so good and needs a special attention.
"We are giving special attention to it. As far as employment generation is concerned, good employment is generated in all the sector," said Gadkari.