Speaking at the Asia LPG Summit on Tuesday, Oil Secretary M M Kutty said after the government's push on clean cooking fuel with its Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), India has become the world's second largest LPG consumer. He said that active LPG consumers grew at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 percent from 14.8 crore in 2014-15 to 22.4 crore in 2017-18. The government has projected the demand to rise 34 percent by 2025.
"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. As per (oil) 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," he said.
Under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) which provides free cooking gas connection to the poor, over 6.31 crore connections have reportedly been provided since the launch of the scheme on 1 May 2016.
Speaking at the summit, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the PMUY was launched with the objective of providing free LPG connections to 5 crore women belonging to poor households over a period of three years and this target has been target 8 crore connections by the financial year 2020.
He said the coverage of LPG in the country has now reached close to 90 percent from about 55 percent in 2014.
"With estimated imports of above 12 million metric tonnes in the financial year 2018-19, India stands as world's second largest importer of LPG, after China. The country's LPG imports have registered remarkable trend in the last five years, growing at a healthy CAGR of 12.5 percent, surpassing import volumes of Japan in the financial year 2017," he said.