With black-marketing curbs, LPG imports see 30% jump

By: | Updated: June 29, 2016 8:01 AM

India’s LPG imports grew by a whopping 29.5% in May 2016 against the same month the previous year. The LPG imports in May this year stood at 35.6 thousand metric tonne (tmt) against 27.5 tmt in May 2015.

LPGThe consumption saw a rise of modest 5.7% in the biggest consuming category of LPG — domestic. (PTI)

India’s LPG imports grew by a whopping 29.5% in May 2016 against the same month the previous year. The LPG imports in May this year stood at 35.6 thousand metric tonne (tmt) against 27.5 tmt in May 2015.

The total consumption of LPG has risen by 7.4% in May this year at 1607.5 tmt compared to 1496.6 tmt in the same month previous year. The buyers in the non-domestic or commercial category consumed 130 tmt of cooking fuel in May this year, a rise of 21.5% against 107 tmt in the same month previous year. This indicated that with the diversion of subsidised domestic LPG to them being curbed, commercial category consumers have come clean on their consumption.

Similarly, the bulk consumption of LPG went up by 22% at 31.5 tmt in May 2016 against 25.8 tmt in May 2015. The only consumers who saw a 4.8% decline in LPG consumption is automobiles. A non-domestic 19.2-kg LPG refill costs R979 in New Delhi.

The siphoning-off of cheaper and subsidised cooking gas meant for households towards commercial usage has stopped after the government launched a scheme — PAHAL — for direct transfer of LPG subsidy to consumers all over the country from January 1, 2015. Under this scheme, LPG is being sold to consumers at the market rate while the subsidy is directly credited to their bank accounts.

Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, while talking about two years of the BJP government in power, had said more than R21,000 crore of subsidy has been saved by implementing PAHAL. In addition to stopping black marketing of cheap LPG, 3.34 crore duplicate, inactive, ghost accounts were detected and blocked.

The consumption saw a rise of modest 5.7% in the biggest consuming category of LPG — domestic. The users in this category consumed 1396.5 tmt of LPG in May 2016 against 1321.7 tmt in May 2015.
Currently, a domestic subsidised 14.2-kg LPG refill costs R419.18 in New Delhi and the government offers a cash discount of another R129.32 on each refill. More than 1.5 crore consumers have opted to buy cooking fuel at market rates and do not enjoy any subsidy. A non-subsidied domestic LPG refill costs R548.50 in the Capital.

During 2014-16, 3.66 crore new LPG connections, including 65 lakh connections to BPL households, were provided – the highest ever in the history of India.

Pradhan targets to provide 10 crore new LPG connections in the next three years, out of which, five crore connections are for BPL households under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY). To meet the growing demand of LPG, 10,000 new distributorships will be commissioned, primarily in rural areas, said the petroleum minister, adding that LPG coverage would increase significantly from the current level of 61%.

Currently, India produces about 11 million tonne or about 60% is produced indigenously, while remaining 40% are imported.

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