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India does not have adequate supply of ethanol

In a draft report on biofuels, a Planning Commission Expert Group has said India does not have adequate quantities of ethanol for blending it with petrol even at 5% levels. In its draft report to a Group of Ministers (GoM) on biofuels, the panel’s expert group has said, “While availability of molasses is adequate, surplus ethanol available for blending with petrol is not there.โ€ India is the world’s second largest producer of sugar after Brazil. The Expert Group pointed out that states restrict free movement of molasses leading to the ethanol shortage. The other reason for inadequate availability of ethanol is the fact that domestic molasses remains the cheapest option for the liquor industry, as ethanol imported for beverage purposes attracts very high customs duty. (June 15, 2008)