Since its launch on June 1, 2023, the GOBARdhan unified registration portal has seen a surge in registrations from functioning, under-construction, and planned Biogas/CBG plants all over India. In just 60 days, the portal has recorded registration of more than 1,200 plants, comprising 320 CBG plants and 892 Biogas plants. There has been a quick registration of over 100 under-construction CBG plants right after the launch. The initiative covers 450 districts, spanning a wide geographical area.
Among these registered plants, 52 commissioned CBG plants have the capacity to process more than 6,600 tons per day of organic/agricultural residue. This processing generates over 300 tons per day of CBG and more than 2,000 tons per day of Fermented Organic Manure (FOM). These numbers are anticipated to increase as the government is dedicated to fostering a supportive environment for CBG/Biogas.
The GOBARdhan initiative, introduced by the Indian government, aims to transform organic waste treatment into a valuable resource through the CBG and biogas sector. The Budget 2023-24 allocated ₹100 billion (~$1.23 billion) for the program. Through a comprehensive governmental approach, the initiative has effectively attracted investments and yielded positive outcomes. The unified registration portal has successfully garnered interest from states/UTs as well as CBG/Biogas operators and investors by offering favorable policies and benefits.
Policy Enablers for Growth and Success
The success of the GOBARdhan program can be attributed to various government policies and incentives, including:
- Market Development Assistance (MDA) Program: An initiative that offers ₹1,500 per ton of biogas/CBG to promote organic fertilizers produced by GOBARdhan plants.
- Amendment in Fertilizer Control Order: Simplifying the marketing process of Fermented Organic Manure (FOM)/Liquid FOM.
- Central Excise Duty Exemption: CNG blended with CBG is not subject to central excise duty to avoid double taxation.
- Inclusion in Carbon Credit Trading: CBG is eligible for trading carbon credits under bilateral/cooperative approaches.
Upcoming policies like fiscal support for biomass aggregation and pipeline connectivity to city gas distribution grids are expected to raise awareness and engagement along the value chain.
The GOBARdhan initiative brings together the efforts of governments, private players, and stakeholders, aiming to effectively manage organic waste, benefit rural households, and ensure its success.