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Ethanol-laced petrol by June

New Delhi, Feb. 4: The government expects to complete the process of supplying petrol blended with 5 per cent ethanol in nine sugarcane producing states by June-end after which it will be provided in the rest of the country.

Petroleum minister Ram Naik said here today that once the ethanol-doped petrol was sold all over the country, the next step would be to raise the ethanol concentration in the mix from 5 per cent to 10 per cent.

Naik, who was speaking to newspersons after attending a meeting of the task force on bio-fuels headed by Planning Commission deputy chairman K. C. Pant, said the government plans to draw up a long-term policy to promote the use of bio-fuels as a substitute for hydrocarbons.

The feedback from the states using ethanol-doped petrol will be incorporated in this policy to take into account local and regional variations.

Apart from the use of ethanol derived from molasses (a by-product of sugar), the government is exploring ways of producing fuel from plants. But its success will depend on whether this turns out to be cost effective.

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