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Indian demand for LPG has been continuously and so the country has made an agreement with Iran to import the cooking fuel to meet this demand.
As per the sources from the industry, the center owned oil companies are getting one very large gas carrier (VLGC) which is equivalent to 44,000 tonnes every month for six months.
The Government scheme to provide free gas connections to women below the poverty line for free led to an increase in the demand and so about a million tonnes of LPG is imported by India on a monthly basis for meeting the needs.
The LPG consumption of the country rose by 9.8% in the year 2016-17 and reached 21.55 million tonnes. About 11 million tonnes of the LPG consumed was brought in by imports. In 2015-16, India had shipped in 8.8 million tonnes of LPG.
The large Middle Eastern oil producers Aramco of Saudi Arabia, Tasweeq of Qatar, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation are the main exporters of LPG to India that export through term contracts.
According to industry experts, the LPG imports are expected to rise in the coming 36 months to 16-17 million tonnes based on the government’s drive to provide cooking gas cylinders to the poor and reduce the use of fuels that pollute the environment.
India is also looking at Bangladesh as a possible exporter of LPG for meeting the domestic requirement. The LPG imports of India in 2016-17 made it the second largest importer of the fuel which was more than Japan’s import of 10.6 million tonnes.
In May 2016, the center had started a scheme for granting free cooking gas supply to poor women to reduce the dependency on the use of firewood and other polluting fuels like dried cow dung.
The LPG demand has been proposed to rise by 9.7% and reach to 23.7 million tonnes in FY 2017-18 and to reach a target of 35 million tonnes by FY 2031-32.
3.45 crore LPG connections were registered in the FY 2016-17 out of which 2.2 crore connections were given to the poor women. The total number of LPG consumers in the country has become 20.08 crore at the end of the FY 2016-17. LPG connections have reached to 72.84% of the population of the country.
The government has plans to give another 3 crore connections in the FY 2017-18 which will be also including 1.5-2 crore under the free LPG connection scheme and 4 crore connections in FY 2018-19. This increase in connections will take LPG connections to a major 95.49% of the population.