The central government on Monday decided to convert “surplus rice” available with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) into ethanol for use in making alcohol-based hand-sanitizers.
The decision was taken during a National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC) meeting headed by Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.
“A meeting of NBCC was held today under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, wherein it was approved that the surplus rice available with Food Corporation of India (FCI) may be converted to ethanol for utilization in making alcohol-based hand-sanitizers and in blending for Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme,” the government said in a press release.
It also said that the move has been taken under the National Policy of Biofuels, 2018, which says: “During an agriculture crop year when there is projected oversupply of food grains as anticipated by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the policy will allow conversion of these surplus quantities of food grains to ethanol, based on the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC).
On March 1, stocks of wheat and rice with the FCI stood at around 77.6 million tonnes (mt). This was over three-and-a-half times the minimum operational buffer-cum-strategic stock of 21.04 mt required to be maintained for April 1, The Indian Express had reported.