Telangana

Push for ethanol-blended petrol programme in Telangana

State govt. eases movement, licensing norms in response to oil companies’ plea

The Telangana government has eased storage, movement and permit norms for industrial fuel-grade ethanol, a decision taken following requests from the oil industry that blends it with petrol, as part of the Centre’s push to cut import dependence on fossil fuels.

In doing so, the government has sought to loosen its regulatory control over industrial alcohol while continuing to ensure mechanisms are in place to ensure against misuse/diversion of the product for potable purposes.

A GO in this regard earlier this month permitted the Commissioner of Prohibition & Excise to issue terminal storage licence for the product for three years as opposed to the existing one year, on payment of proportionate licence fee.

The Commissioner has also been permitted by the government to issue no objection certificate (NOC) for imports from other States, at a time with a validity of one year which is equal to the annual quota sanctioned for the national oil marketing company.

Further, the validity of import permits will be for six months to import ethanol from other States and for transport permits within the State as against the earlier three months for which they were issued.

The GO followed representations from the national oil marketing companies. In a communication after a meeting with representatives of the companies, Commissioner of Prohibition and Excise Somesh Kumar wrote to government stating that the oil marketing companies (OMCs) are insisting on liberalisation of some of our departments controls repeatedly. Certain concessions can be offered “as they are not likely to affect the State government motive of prevention of industrial alcohol for potable purposes,” the communication said.

The official pointed out that allotment norm is for keeping information on consumption pattern of OMCs and for assessment of availability of ENA for manufacture of liquor in the State. Transport permits are issued by the concerned distillery officer with the purpose of tracking moment of ethanol and to keep vigil in case of suspected diversion.

Sources in the oil marketing companies said the Centre has mandated sale of 10% ethanol-blended petrol, a target often achieved except in times of strain on availability of ethanol. “We are doing reasonably good,” an official said, adding that bulk of ethanol for blending with petrol at the oil companies’ terminals in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh comes from Maharashtra. The rest of the requirement comes from Karnataka.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:19:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/push-for-ethanol-blended-petrol-programme-in-telangana/article28692836.ece

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