Modi govt's clean fuel drive makes India second-largest LPG importer

Imports of liquified natural gas (LNG) into the country soared 23 per cent during the financial year ended 31 March 2017, helped in large measure by an aggressive push by the Narendra Modi government to provide every household with cooking gas cylinders to replace the wood and kerosene-run 'chullahs'.

This has made India the second-largest importer of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), overtaking Japan while China remained the largest importer of LPG.

The number of LPG connections in the country swelled after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2016 launched a LPG 'Give it up' campaign urging the well off to give up their subsidies on LPG cylinders, which could then be passed on to the less privileged.
The campaign led to a record distribution of 32.5 million new cooking gas connections during the year, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report.

The WHO report also pointed out that the widespread use of polluting fuels caused 1.3 million premature deaths in India every year.

Most rural households in the country use traditional chulhas made of mud and cow dung and are fired by  fire-wood while some use kerosene as fuel as supplies come cheap through the public distribution system. The smoke from the chulhas is injurious to the health of the women in the household tasked with cooking and other family members as the houses are usually not well-ventilated.

"Imports of LPG soared 23 per cent during the financial year ended March 31 to 11 million tonnes, according to data from oil ministry's Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell. Japan's imports slipped 3.2 per cent during the same period to 10.6 million tonnes, according to the finance ministry," reports said, adding, China remained the top importer.