New Delhi, August 10: Speaking at the World Biofuel Day Celebrations at the Mavalankar Hall, Constitution Club of India in New Delhi, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India Nitin Gadkari said that he has plans to ask the Finance Ministry to bring down the tax of Bio-diesel to 5%. Currently, Bio-diesel is charged at 18% tax under GST.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said 80% of fuel used for transportation and domestic usage in India is imported. He informed that this costs India Rs 6 Lakh Crore. Pradhan said that the Prime Minister has given a target to bring down the dependence by 10% by the 75th year of Independence in 2022. “PM Modi has given the target to bring down this dependence by 10% by the 75th year of Independence in 2022”, Pradhan said.

In May, the Biodiesel Association of India raised concerns over the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and said that higher GST rates could adversely impact the sector. “It is a matter of great despair as 18 per cent GST would make biodiesel costlier than diesel, while the thrust globally is on eco-friendly and renewable fuel,” BDAI President, Sandeep Chaturvedi was quoted by PTI.

Meanwhile, the association in its statement said, “High GST rate could shut the biodiesel industry, which is already reeling under the pressure of complex and varied taxation policies of the states. Lack of clarity on the policy front has made it even more vulnerable for the industry players”. The association further added saying that the government wants to cut its crude import by 10 per cent, but the high incidence of tax on biodiesel will make it costlier than diesel and ultimately make it uncompetitive.

The BDAI, in its pre- budget memorandum to the Government in January said that India needed promotional policy and favourable taxation rates for the green fuel. “At present, the use of biodiesel is completely voluntarily and there is no mandate/obligation on the polluters to reduce the emission. A national policy that mandates the use of green fuels is urgent need of the hour. Any tax on biodiesel will discourage the users and kill this industry,” the BDAI President had said.