The Bihar government will soon unveil an incentive policy to attract investment to set up ethanol plants with easy availability of land and raw materials in the next one month, a top official said.“The policy will be aimed to attract investment for production of ethanol from molasses, sugarcane, maize and cereals. It will cover all aspects so that setting up of plants is easy. It will come up in the next one month or so,” said additional chief secretary (industry department) Brijesh Mehrohtra.
In December last year, Union minister for MSME and road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari in an interaction with chief minister Nitish Kumar had asked the state government to boost production of ethanol promising the Centre would help in purchasing it. Based on Gadkari’s assurance, the state government has been working on the new incentive policy.
A few days back there were discussions between industry minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and sugarcane industry minister Pramod Kumar on promoting ethanol production in the state with better co-ordination among the two departments and other agencies concerned.
In Bihar, the production of ethanol is still low. Most of the organic chemical is produced by distilleries in Gopalganj and Jandaha in Vaishali district. Ethanol is widely used in alcohol production and now increasingly in motor fuel.
Officials said the production in these distilleries is 65-75 kilo litre per day and the supplies are given to various oil companies.
Officials said the new incentive policy would be in sync with the Bihar Industrial Investment Policy, 2016 where there are provisions of easy clearance of projects, land availability and tax reliefs for investors.
“We are looking to attract investment for producing ethanol from maize and even rice which has high production in the state. It will help the sugarcane sector and also help farmers to get better prices for their produce be it sugarcane or maize,” said one official in the industry department.The state government had tried to raise production of ethanol to boost industrialisation and give fillip to the sugarcane sector from 2006 onwards but the initiatives did not attract much investors owing to certain conditions laid down by the Centre that only sugar factories can produce ethanol.