Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari Friday pushed for greater usage of biofuels to reduce India’s annual oil import bill of Rs 7 lakh crore, putting the onus on local car makers to make more vehicles that can run on fossil-fuel substitutes.
The minister’s exhortation comes a day after the GST Council recommended reducing the producer levy on biofuels to 12% from 18%, a move seen to simultaneously support the farm sector and use the cash saved on oil imports to help achieve New Delhi’s social-sector objectives.
“It is part of my conviction. We are importing crude oil worth Rs 7 lakh crore,” Gadkari told top banking and capital-markets experts during a discussion at the ET Markets Pre-Budget Meet in Mumbai on Friday. “We don’t need a timeframe. This is going to happen regardless of whether our auto industry likes it or not. They have to accept it.”