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India launches ethanol road show

India launched “road shows” to promote ethanol-blended gasoline across the country in April. “The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has begun implementing 5% ethanol-blended petrol program in selective zones countrywide,” a ministry spokesman said. He said high taxes on ethanol were a major problem for the smooth implementation of the program by oil marketing companies (OMCs). Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora launched the road show in southern Andhra Pradesh state recently. On September 20, 2006, the government issued directives that required oil marketing companies, subject to commercial viability, to sell 5% ethanol-blended gasoline as per the Bureau of Indian Standards specifications in 20 states from November 1, 2006. The OMCs have complained that state governments have imposed several licensing and procedural requirements, levying a plethora of taxes and restricting interstate movement of industrial alcohol. India needs about 147,936 gallons of ethanol annually for its ethanol-blended petrol program. India is said to also be considering increasing the amount of ethanol blending to 10%. (April 6, 2007)