IBA wants Finance Ministry to announce budgetary incentives for biogas industry

IBA has suggested the Government establishment of a substantial Rs 1.4 lakh crore 'Biogas-Fertilizer Fund.'

The Indian Biogas Association (IBA) has proposed a comprehensive set of suggestions to the Central Government aimed at fostering the expansion of the bio-CNG/CBG (compressed natural gas/biogas) industry. Included in the association’s pre-budget memorandum to the Finance Ministry is a proposal for the establishment of a substantial Rs 1.4 lakh crore ‘Biogas-Fertilizer Fund.’

As per IBA, this fund would incentivize the use of organic fertilizers, with the expectation of significantly enhancing soil and human health.

Promoting Biofertilizers

Among the proposed initiatives by the IBA is the introduction of a ‘Sustainable Biogas Plant Fertilizer-Based Cultivation Programme’ (SuBiCulP). This five-year program, supported by the proposed Rs 1.4 lakh crore fund, aims to collaborate with the SATAT Scheme to ensure the availability of organic fertilizers—an integral component of sustainable agriculture. Additionally, the IBA advocates for a framework for biomass procurement at a Fair Remunerative Price.

Another noteworthy recommendation from the IBA involves adopting a nutrient-based valuation approach for pricing fermented organic manure (FOM). The association suggests establishing a floor market price for FOM equivalent to Urea Retail Prices. This pricing strategy, coupled with potential market development assistance, is anticipated to bolster the growth of the organic fertilizer sector.

The IBA’s memorandum also encompasses suggestions for infrastructural and financial developments. It calls for the expansion of the city gas distribution pipeline infrastructure to enable a 5% blending of compressed biogas. Furthermore, the IBA recommends a budgetary allocation of Rs 2,500 crore for the grid connectivity of CBG plants. In addition, the association proposes a Rs 3,000 crore Credit Guarantee Scheme to provide crucial financial support for new compressed biogas projects.

These proposals precede Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s presentation of an interim budget for the financial year 2024-25, scheduled for February 1. The IBA’s comprehensive recommendations underscore the pivotal role of the bio-CNG/CBG industry in shaping India’s sustainable future.

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