India has become the world's second largest liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumer following the government's aggressive push to provide clean cooking fuel to every household, Indian Oil Secretary MM Kutty said on Tuesday.
The demand for LPG in India is projected to rise by 34 percent by 2025, he said.
Kutty shared the info at a two-day Asia LPG Summit that started at New Delhi in India on February 5.
Active LPG consumers have grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 percent, from 14.8 crore in 2014-15 to 22.4 crore in 2017-18, he said.
"Rapid increase in population combined with LPG penetration in rural areas has resulted in an average growth of 8.4 percent in LPG consumption, making India the second largest consumer of LPG in the world at 22.5 million tonnes after China.”
"As per the ministry's projections and forecasts, LPG consumption is expected to grow to 30.3 million tonnes by 2025 and 40.6 million tonnes by 2040," said Kutty.
The government, he said, has taken a number of initiatives to promote usage of LPG across the country especially in rural households which otherwise depend on traditional fuels like firewood and cow dung which are hazardous to health and polluting in nature.
Over 6.31 crore connections have been provided under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)—a pet scheme of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide free cooking gas (LPG) connection to the poor—since its launch on May 1, 2016.
"Before March 31, 2020, we will provide LPG connections to 8 crore households under PMUY," Kutty said, adding, "LPG connection is issued in the name of the women member of the household."
Also speaking at the summit, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the coverage of LPG in the country has now reached close to 90 percent, rising from about 55 percent in 2014.
"With estimated imports of above 12 million tonnes in 2018-19, India stands as world's second largest importer of LPG after China.”
India's LPG imports have registered a remarkable trend in the last five years, growing at a CAGR of 12.5 percent, surpassing import volumes of Japan in the 2017 financial year, he said.