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PLI, tax benefits and more: Niti's advice to boost EV battery manufacturing

The Niti Aayog suggested that the Centre should give impetus to scaling up lithium-ion battery (LIB) recycling infrastructure to complement the extraction efforts of critical minerals

lithium

The think tank suggested that the Centre should give impetus to scaling up lithium-ion battery (LIB) recycling infrastructure (Representational)

BS Web Team New Delhi

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As part of the efforts to promote electric vehicles and boost domestic value addition, the Niti Aayog has suggested  incentives in the form of production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes, tax benefits, and royalties to support the processing and refining of minerals used in lithium-ion batteries, according to a report by The Economic Times (ET). The proposals were made in a report released on July 31 by the Niti Aayog— "Mine to market: critical minerals supply chain for domestic value addition in lithium-ion battery manufacturing".

In February, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) announced the Salal-Haimana area in Reasi could be sitting on 5.99 million tonnes of lithium reserves, giving a boost to the country's renewable energy push.

The think tank suggested that the Centre  should give impetus to scaling up lithium-ion battery (LIB) recycling infrastructure with the PLI scheme to complement the extraction efforts of critical minerals. Responding to a question in Parliament last week,  the Centre said, “The decision regarding auctioning of the lithium mineral block in J&K will be taken up by the government (there).”

In February 2021, preliminary surveys by the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research showed the presence of lithium resources of 1,600 tonnes in the Marlagalla-Allapatna area of Mandya district in Karnataka.

The Niti Aayog has also proposed strengthening the state-run Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) to undertake joint exploration and mining activities in critical mineral-bearing foreign countries along with the stockpiling of refined mineral precursors used in LIB electrodes. KABIL is a joint venture backed by the National Aluminium Co. Ltd (Nalco), Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Co. Ltd (MECL).

The think tank suggested acquisitions and investments by Indian companies in critical mineral-bearing foreign countries and the further strengthening of Indian missions in critical mineral-bearing countries to ease due diligence of greenfield or brownfield mining assets. The Niti Aayog also called for cooperation among stakeholders for robust supply chains.

“Key stakeholders should prioritise critical battery minerals supply chain as a key pillar of Indo-Pacific economic framework and a key factor in diplomatic outreach with mineral bearing foreign countries R&D to develop recycling, extraction technologies and find earth-abundant alternatives to critical battery minerals,” it said in the report.

The think tank also called for direct lithium extraction technologies from seawater and national competitions for developing high-performance LIB electrodes made from earth-abundant alternatives.

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First Published: Aug 01 2023 | 9:09 AM IST

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