Bihar becomes first state to have own ethanol policy

Bihar Cabinet has approved the Ethanol Production Promotion Policy, 2021, becoming the 1st Indian State to have an ethanol promotion policy. The policy allows the extraction of ethanol, which was restricted to sugarcane, from surplus quantities of maize as well. The new policy would permit ethanol production in Bihar from all feedstocks permitted by National Policy on Biofuels, 2018, and subsequently by the National Biofuel Coordination Committee.

The Assembly was informed of the cabinet decision by deputy chief minister Renu Devi as the industry minister Shahnawaz Husain was away in poll-bound West Bengal for campaigning. So far, the government of India has granted permission for ethanol production from B-heavy molasses, C-heavy molasses, grains unfit for human consumption, sugarcane juice, sugar, sugar syrup, surplus rice and maize.

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About the policy:

  • The Ethanol Production Promotion Policy, 2021, of Bihar promotes new standalone ethanol manufacturing units by providing them additional capital subsidy at 15% of the cost of plant and machinery up to a maximum of ₹5 crores.
  • The new policy also provides an additional subsidy for special class investors like SCs, STs, EBCs, women, differently-abled, war widows, acid attack victims and third gender entrepreneurs.
  • In their case, the capital subsidy will be 15.75% of the cost of plant and machinery up to a maximum of Rs. 5.25 crore. The policy lays significant emphasis on issuing licences and clearances in a timebound manner for new standalone ethanol units.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Bihar: Nitish Kumar; Governor: Phagu Chauhan.

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