India has replaced Japan as the world’s second-largest importer of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
LPG Imports for 2016-17, India and Japan:
Import of LPG, which is mostly used as cooking fuel in India, during 2016 -17 was 11 Million Tonnes. This marks a growth of 23% as compared to previous year. During the same period Japan imported 10.6 million tonnes LPG, marking a 3.2% reduction as compared to previous year.
- In context of this news, it is to be noted that Japan is deliberately cutting back on usage of LPG as cooking fuel and is moving to cheaper alternatives such as natural gas.
- China has retained its position as world’s top LPG importer.
Reason for stellar growth in India’s LPG imports:
Success of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2016 is the primary reason for the record breaking growth in LPG imports.
- Under this yojana deposit-free LPG connections with monetary assistance were provided to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households.
- LPG usage is being promoted by Indian Govt. to prevent health hazards emanating from usage of unclean cooking fuel and fossil fuel for domestic cooking purpose.
- On account of new connections provided under this scheme, total 32.5 million new LPG connections were registered during 2016-17.
LPG Consumption in India:
Currently India’s active LPG user count is about 200 million which is about 60% more than Japan’s entire population.
- As on April 1, 2017, around 72% of Indian households have LPG connection. Indian Govt. has a target to provide LPG connection to 80% households by March 2019. Industry analysts believe that this target will boost demand for LPG in India by 10% for next two years.
- 55 Million Tonnes LPG was consumed in India during 2016-17, which marked 9.8% growth as compared to previous year.
- Union Oil and Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan mentioned that, LPG consumption in India will reach 35 million Tonnes by 2031-32 on account of connection penetration to rural and remote areas.