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Indian Biodiesel Producers Raise Concern Over Unauthorized Sales of Low-Quality Fuel

Ever since the Indian government launched the revised policy on biofuels in 2018, there has been increased activity on the country’s need to modernize the public transport fleet and promote the use of biofuels like bio-CNG, ethanol, Biodiesel, methanol as well as electricity. The fuel retailers of the country deliberated on the idea of adding new-age fuels to their fossil fuel outlets. Post the implementation of BS-VI norms by the union government in April this year, domestic fuel retailers have reported an exponential increase in the selling of environmentally clean BS VI fuels. However, country’s fuel retailers are highlighting the potential threats to the domestic Biodiesel industry as there currently exists no customs duty, excise duty nor VAT on the sales of the fuel. Mangalore’s Dakshina Kannada and Udupi District Petroleum Dealers Association (DKUPDA), has recently raised questions on the quality of the Biodiesel that is being made available to the residents of the district at prices much lower than normal High Speed Diesel (HSD) which is further affecting the local dealers. As per DKUPDA, the purported biodiesel is being sold from the covered godowns without any brand or name which is further jeopardizing the efforts of ministry of petroleum and natural gas (MoPNG) in marketing of BS VI HSD available in the retail outlets. MoPNG has recommended B-100 grade Biodiesel for blending with HSD with specific blending limits for use in consumer vehicles. Satish N Kamath, the immediate past president of DKUPDA has urged concerned authorities to intervene into the matter and take action to curb the unauthorized sale of Biodiesel in the Indian market. Biodiesel Ex-Depot Chennai prices in the domestic market have skyrocketed to USD 855 per MT in the month of August, extending gains due to spurring demand.