LPG Current Affairs - 2019
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A study from the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics (r.i.c.e) study on the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna (PMUY) makes the following observations:
- Most rural households with LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections still use chulhas with firewood or dung cakes which are the detriment of rural health.
- 85% of Ujjwala beneficiaries in rural Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan still use solid fuels for cooking, due to financial reasons as well as gender inequalities.
- In the four States surveyed, there was a substantial increase in LPG ownership due to the scheme, with 76% of households now owning an LPG connection.
- Overall only 27% of households exclusively used the gas stove and another 37% reported using both the chulha and the gas stove, while 36% used chulha exclusively.
- Whereas among those who received LPG connection through PMUY, almost 53% exclusively used the chulha, while 32% used both.
- The beneficiaries of PMUY are poorer, on average than households who got LPG on their own. Refilling the cylinder is a greater fraction of their monthly consumption, and they may be less likely to get a refill immediately after a cylinder becomes empty.
- Almost 70% of households do not spend anything on solid fuels, meaning that the relative cost of an LPG cylinder refill, even if subsidised, is far higher.
- Women are not typically economic decision-makers in the household, hindering a shift to LPG usage.
- 70% of respondents thought the gas stove was better for the health of the cook (typically a woman), more than 86% felt that cooking on the chulha was better for the health of those eating, reflecting ignorance of the fact that ambient air pollution is harmful even to those who are not cooking the food.
The survey covered a random sample of 1,550 households in 11 districts of the four States, which collectively have two-fifths of the country’s rural population.
India is now the second largest consumer and importer of the LPG in the world. This is attributed to government initiatives to push for cleaner alternatives to traditional cooking fuels such as firewood and cow dung.
Import of LPG
The import of LPG grew by 12.5 per cent over the past five years to 12 million metric tons (13 million tons) in 2018-19. India now stands at the second position when it comes to the import of LPG surpassing Japan. India is at second place behind China. The exporters of LPG to India include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iran.
Consumption of LPG
The number of active LPG consumers in India has grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 per cent – from 14.8 crore in 2014-15 to 22.4 crore in 2017-18.
Increase in population combined with LPG penetration in rural areas has resulted in an average growth of 8.4 per cent in LPG consumption, making India the second largest consumer of LPG in the world at 22.5 million tonnes.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas estimates that LPG consumption would grow to 30.3 million tonnes by 2025 and 40.6 million tonnes by 2040.
The flagship scheme of the government Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) has made a significant contribution towards enhancing the penetration of LPG, especially in rural areas. The renewed targets under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to provide LPG connections to 8 crore households before March 31, 2020.