India on Thursday announced that it had completely switched over to the cleaner Euro-III and Euro-IV petrol and diesel, well ahead of the October 1 deadline fixed by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry.
Addressing a press conference here, Minister of State for Petroleum Jitin Prasada said: “We launched Euro-IV grade petrol and diesel in 13 big cities from April 1 and Euro-III grade fuel was to be introduced in the rest of the country in phases by October 1. We introduced Euro-III petrol and diesel in North-East States on Wednesday.''
With this, the launch of ultra low sulphur and benzene fuel has been completed ahead of schedule. “The roll-over happened without a glitch. There has been no disruption of fuel supply in any part of the country despite the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) undertaking such a massive exercise,'' he remarked.
When Euro-IV grade fuel was launched in April, petrol prices were increased by Rs. 0.50 a litre and diesel by Rs. 0.26 a litre. For introduction of Euro-III grade, petrol prices have been raised by Rs. 0.26 per litre and diesel by Rs. 0.21 a litre in phases as the fuels were introduced throughout the country. “There will be no further increase in prices as a result of introduction of Euro-III fuel. Whatever had to be done has already been done.”
Mr. Prasada said public sector firms spent over Rs. 32,000 crore in upgrading refineries to produce higher quality fuel. “The introduction of Euro-III and IV grade fuel will considerably improve the air quality with reduction in emission of pollutants in fuels.''
As against the approved schedule of introducing Euro-III fuel by October 1, introduction of higher grade petrol was advanced in 20 States and that of diesel in 23 States. In the last leg, Euro-III petrol and diesel was introduced in the seven North-East States on September 22.
The Auto Fuel Policy had prescribed a road map for introduction of BS-IV and BS-III grades of petrol and diesel (equivalent to Euro–III and Euro-IV petrol and diesel) in the country.