Biodiesel producers receive VAT boost

 Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Friday said the State government has decided to decrease the Value Added Tax (VAT) rates on biofuel.

Speaking at the inauguration of three-day Biofuel Mela at Chitrakala Parishat, Shettar said a meeting will be held with the officials in this regard and an official notification will be issued soon.

B Ramakrishna, executive chairperson, Karnataka State Biofuel Development Board, said the announcement by the chief minister means that the VAT on bio diesel will be reduced from the existing 14 per cent to five per cent. The VAT rate for bio ethanol, which is being blended substantially with petrol in the State, is already at five per cent. In the coming days, the Board will also seek reduction of VAT rates for other products used in the biofuel production, namely seeds, cakes etc.

Shettar also said more than 72,000 farmers have registered with the Biofuel Board for taking up cultivation of species like Honge, Hippe etc. The Board has requested for additional funds of Rs 15 crore to efficiently take up the project forward. We will consider it after a related meeting with the officials of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) department, he said.

The chief minister also said the State’s first biofuel bunk will soon come up in Hassan in association with the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL).

Organisers of the event said as part of the Mela, a biofuel-run Toy Train will be opened for public at the Balbhavan in Cubbon Park on Saturday. Interaction with school and college students on the biofuel trend, experts and farmers interaction to take the biofuel drive forward, a walkathon to create awareness, exhibitions will also be held as part of the event, said a senior member of the Bio Fuel Board.

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