Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pledge to provide cooking gas cylinders to every households has helped India to become the world's second-largest importer of liquefied petroleum gas or LPG.
According to a report in Bloomberg, India's import of LPG, mostly used as cooking fuel, increased 23 per cent during the financial year that ended March 31 to 11 million tons. India replaced Japan from the second position whose imports slipped 3.2 per cent during the same period to 10.6 million tons, the report said.
Last year on May 1, Prime Minister Modi launched an ambitious social welfare scheme - Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana - with the aim of providing 5 crore LPG connections to women below the poverty line across the country.
The scheme was aimed at replacing the unclean cooking fuels mostly used in the rural India with the clean and more efficient LPG Gas. Prime Minister Modi's ambitious drive led to a massive rise in consumption with a record distribution of 32.5 million new cooking gas connections during the year.
"It's a game changer. Never in history we have seen such huge LPG usage in India. LPG will remain main cooking fuel for India over next two decades," Bloomberg d Ong Han Wee, who heads the LPG team at Singapore-based Facts Global Energy, as saying.
India's consumption of LPG during the year to March 31 was 21.55 million tons, registering a 9.8 percent growth from the previous year.