Reduce oil imports to achieve $5 tln GDP goal: Gadkari

Reduce oil imports to achieve $5 tln GDP goal: Gadkari

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari. PTI Photo

 Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said using bio-fuels can reduce crude oil imports which will help save foreign exchange on one hand also achieve the USD 5-trillion GDP goal by 2025.

Gadkari said his ministry has taken various steps to promote bio-fuels like ethanol and butanol which are not only feasible but also desirable for the nation as it will also help reduce the emissions.

"Every year we spend around Rs 7 lakh crore on oil imports. In this scenario if we have alternate bio-fuels like ethanol and butanol which can be used in cars and aircraft, why should we not explore those options. They are not just cheap but also pollution-free," Gadkari said.

He said the aviation sector imports Rs 40,000 crore worth of fuel and if they explore bio-fuels, it opens a Rs 40,000-crore market for domestic players.

"Aviation bio-fuels are widely accepted in the US and Britain. If we also use it, we will save lots of foreign exchange," Gadkari said, adding steps are being taken to reduce coal imports as well.

"We are studying the feasibility of using Napier grass which has higher calorific value instead of coal. I strongly feel that if we undertake these measures, we will be able to achieve our USD 5-trillion GDP target," he said.