New Delhi: Even as the government is pushing
for biofuel for automobile sector, Environment Minister Jairam
Ramesh today cautioned that it will not work in the
land-scarce country plagued by food security issues.
"There are many in this country who believe that bio-fuel
is a very important option that we should be looking at. But I
urge caution in the approach," Ramesh said at a summit here
organised by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
Giving reasons why he disfavours bio-fuel, he said, "We
are not Brazil (a world leader in the use of ethanol as
transportation fuel) and not a land-rich country... We are
also a country of billion people adding ten million every
year. So we have a very serious food security issue as well."
Marginal use of bio-fuel can be an option but it cannot
be totally relied upon, he said.
In October 2007, under pressure from the world to cut
emissions of the greenhouse gasses produced by fossil fuel
combustion, the government had mandated that all diesel should
contain 5 per cent biofuel by volume.
Biofuels are produced from crops and burn cleaner than
fossil fuels. Biodiesels, a subset of biofuels, are produced
from vegetable or animal oil and there is a view that biofuel
target is a reason for food prices shooting up lately.