Thursday, March 30, 2023

Gadkari pitches for priority sector lending

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday made a case for extending priority sector lending facilities for entities engaged in production and business of alternative fuels like bio-ethanol, CNG and LNG, a move that will help cut imports of fossil fuels.
Addressing an event, the Road Transport and Highways Minister further said the trial of bringing calorific value of ethanol at par with petrol by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) was successful.
“Those involved in production or business of alternative fuels should be included in priority sector lending. I shall speak about the issue with the finance minister and RBI Governor,” he said.
Priority sector lending facility will help the entities engaged in alternative fuel production or business to obtain loan from banks on easier terms.
He asserted that this move will help in reducing imports of fossil fuels in India.
Gadkari said on Wednesday that he will meet the Information Technology minister and suggest him to direct telecom companies to run IT towers on ethanol-based generators rather than diesel-based ones.
The minister noted that there appears to be shortage of power in the country as the requirement has increased on account of economic growth.
Peak power shortage rose swiftly last week from single digit of 5.24 GW on April 25 to touch double-digit of 10.77 GW on April 28 showing affects of various factors like low coal stocks at generation plants, heatwave and other issues on deepening electricity crisis.
The power consumption and demand were affected in April 2020 also due to the imposition of lockdown for curbing the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The power consumption in April 2019 (pre-pandemic period) was 110. 11 billion units. Also, speaking at the event, Union Heavy Industries Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey said:” Under the government’s FAME-II scheme, tendering of 5,400 electric buses have been completed and we will get them on road in the next six months.”


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