New Delhi, Feb. 19 -- Maruti Suzuki India Ltd expects sales of its natural gas-powered cars to jump 59% in the next fiscal year as more buyers embrace the greener fuel amid soaring petrol prices and the wider availability of compressed natural gas (CNG).

The country's largest carmaker hopes to sell 250,000-257,000 CNG vehicles in the year beginning 1 April from about 157,000 units that it expects to sell this fiscal through March, Shashank Srivastava, executive director of sales and marketing at Maruti Suzuki, said in an interview.

The carmaker is banking on the government's plan to bring CNG under the ambit of goods and services tax, a move that's expected to reduce the cost of the fuel. To meet demand, Maruti plans to expand its portf...