Look out for a national Auto Fuel Policy

Vol 6, PW 12 (14 Aug 02) News in Brief

Later thismonth the oil ministry will receive the final report of a panel set up to suggest a national 'Auto Fuel Policy'.

A preliminary report was submitted in February and widely discussed on a dedicated Internet website set up by the oil ministry. According to an executive summary of the final report, the panel feels India should aim to achieve the twin objectives of providing "assured supply of fuels at minimum costs and meeting environmental concerns." Liquid fuels will continue to be the main auto fuels in India, but alternative fuels should be introduced into highly polluted cities.

Existing refineries, says the panel, will have to invest around Rs18, 000cr ($3.7bn) by 2005 to meet auto fuel specifications. And by 2010, an additional investment of around Rs12, 000cr ($2.5bn) will be needed.

Shastri Bhawan tells us the report will be sent to cabinet and could become official policy as early as two months from now.