The Central government will invest Rs 15,000 crore to increase the capacity of Panipat refinery from existing 15 million tonnes (mt) to 25 mt to create huge employment opportunities, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said here on Monday. Also, an ethanol plant would be set up at a cost of Rs 500 crore by the Indian Oil Corporation in Panipat to generate alternative fuel from agricultural residue which would boost agriculture sector, the Petroleum Minister said.
He was speaking after distributing free LPG connections, under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), among the women belonging to BPL families here.
He also appreciated the efforts of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who was present on the occasion, for announcing to make Haryana kerosene free by March 2017 and added that this model would be replicated in the entire country to make India kerosene free. The Union Minister said that the expansion of refinery would raise specifications of fuel quality from BS-4 to BS-6. “This would not only create employment opportunities for the people, but would also help in raising quality of fuel in the country by the year 2020,” he said.
As per scientific research, he said that ethanol made from crop residue can produce fuel or energy up to 72 per cent. Pradhan said that efforts were being made to have the downstream of petro chemical hub in Haryana so as to attract maximum investment in the state. This would attract about 100 big or small industries thus generating maximum revenue and employment in the state, he said.
The Union Minister also appreciated the state government for digitization of ration cards under public distribution system, which revealed that five lakh beneficiaries were getting dual benefit of both subsidised LPG and kerosene. This has saved Rs 100 crore subsidy being granted by the Centre to Haryana government, he pointed out. He also announced to pay back 75 per cent subsidy to Haryana keeping in view the target to declare eight districts as kerosene free in Haryana by November 1, 2016. Pradhan assured that more than six lakh BPL households would get LPG connection in next six months in the state.
While commending the vision of the state government to check corruption and the role of middlemen through information technology, the minister said that it is a matter of shame that corruption was at its peak in recruitment of teachers and police constables under previous regimes in the state earlier. “Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in the state were working with the vision of Antodaya,” he said.
The Union Minister and the Chief Minister together handed over papers of gas connections to 10 beneficiaries on this occasion. A beneficiary Neelam Devi also shared her rich experience and benefits of the PMUY. Speaking on the occasion, Khattar talked about the Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao programme launched by Prime Minister Modi from Panipat on January 22, 2015.
Khattar said that with the government’s efforts and support of people, the sex ratio at birth for the month of August has reached 914, but the target is set for 950. Under the PMUY, the distribution of free LPG connection has also been started from Panipat and the state would get success in declaring eight districts of Yamunanagar, Panchkula, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat, Jahjjar and Gurugram as kerosene free by November 1, 2016.
The Chief Minister said that during last two years, the government had announced to set up 26 new government colleges, of which maximum colleges were for girls education. These women colleges were announced keeping in view the minimum radius distance of 20 km. This distance can further be reduced in future, he added. Khattar said that of 90 assembly constituencies in Haryana, he had so far visited 76 of them and had made 2000 announcements for development projects.