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Centre hikes price of ethanol to enhance availability and help mills pay off farmers


New Delhi, The Centre on Wednesday hiked the ex-mill price of ethanol produced from C-molasses-a by-product of sugar manufacture-by Rs 2.85 per litre to Rs 43.70 for the new season starting December 2018. The earlier price was Rs 40.85 paise per litre. For the first time, the government also fixed the price of ethanol produced from B-molasses at Rs 47.49 per litre. So far, the price was only fixed for ethanol produced from C-molasses. Announcing this, Union Minister for Finance Piyush Goyal said the government has also allowed use of sugarcane juice for ethanol to enhance availability and help mills pay clear arrears for sugarcane purchase from farmers. ``Today’s decisions will enhance the availability of ethanol for blending with petrol and reduce the import bill on petroleum products,' he said at a press briefing. The decisions were taken in the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) here chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr Goyal said GST and transport charges will be paid extra.``This will be cheaper than the price paid for imported petroleum products,’’ he added. Ultimately the government wants to move towards 10 per cent ethanol blending with petrol. Mr Goyal said the ethanol blending programme was envisaged during former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s rule but was abandoned later.

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