Bengaluru: Former chief minister and state Janata Dal (S) president, H.D. Kumaraswamy, on Tuesday urged the Union government to modify its sugar policy to facilitate production of ethanol, a move which would help the country save foreign exchange.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, copies of which were released to the media here, Mr Kumaraswamy cited the example of Brazil, a major exporter of sugar, adding “In Brazil, only 45 per cent of sugarcane goes into crushing while the remaining 55 per cent goes to production of ethanol.”
Quoting statistics of the Union government, Mr Kumaraswamy said the country imports petroleum products at a whopping $ 160 billion.
“In spite of the fact that the government started using ethanol since 2002, due to problems in pricing and procurement, use of ethanol could not be effective,” he lamented.
The former chief minister suggested that the government should change the policy of blending ethanol with petroleum products from five per cent now to 10 per cent, and encourage farmers to grow pongemia trees which in turn would help increase their revenue too.
He also suggested that the goverment should make it mandatory for all government vehicles to use ethanol so that the consumption of the product increases.
“Formulate a separate policy for the sugar sector to make it competitive. The government should set aside Rs 3000 crores to revive sugarcane farming in rural areas,” he added.