Greater Noida (16/11/2022): LPG can effectively address several Sustainable Development Goals of the UN such as Good Health & Well Being (Ujjwala Scheme), Gender Equality (Women Empowerment in Villages through Socio-economic Transformation – Ujjwala), Affordable & Clean Energy, Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure (rLPG / rDME), Climate Action, said Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs, Hardeep S Puri today. Addressing the gathering at World LPG Week 2022, he said that encouraging innovations in the LPG energy mix, efficiency, conservation, Bio LPG, Synthetic LPG etc would facilitate favourable shift/growth and also help in meeting the climate change goals.
World LPG Week 2022 is being held from 14th to 18th November 2022 at India Expo Mart (IEML), Greater Noida, where the world LPG industry would meet under the theme, ‘Humanising Energy’. Senior officials from Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.(IOCL) and representatives from Oil and Gas Industry attended the event.
Noting the relevance of theme of World LPG Week 2022, the Minister said that the theme ‘Humanizing Energy’– is apt as energy has a direct impact on human wellbeing and there is an urgent need to produce and use energy in a sustainable way, while ensuring affordability & availability to everyone.
Talking about the scenario prior to launch of PMUY (Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana), the Minister said that the availability of clean cooking fuel in the country was a major challenge for rural households in India for many years. Though LPG was the major source of cooking energy in urban India, a large proportion of households still had to depend on biomass such as firewood, dung, crop residue and coal/charcoal for their cooking needs.
Benefitting more than 9.55 crore Households in India, the PMUY scheme has become a global role model for India’s success story in ensuring energy access, and energy justice while achieving climate change and women empowerment goals, added the Minister.
Referring to the Ujjwala 2.0 which has been launched to achieve complete LPG saturation and for benefit of left out people in need, Hardeep S Puri stated that along with a deposit free LPG connection, Ujjwala 2.0 provides first refill and hotplate free of cost to the beneficiaries. The target of releasing another One Crore LPG connection under Ujjwala 2.0 was achieved on January 31, 2022. PM Ujjwala Yojana removed the entry barrier to the adoption of LPG by poor households, the Minister said. The high entry barrier was due to the initial costs of getting an LPG connection, which included access to a connection, a deposit for the cylinder + hose + regulator (Rs.1600), and the cost of an LPG refill (Rs.800) and the cost of an energy-efficient LPG stove.
Lauding the achievements under PMUY, the Minister said that the scheme has not only achieved women empowerment and reduced health hazards, but also boosted the manufacturing sector by increasing consumption of cylinders, stoves, regulators, hose pipes, etc. The achievements of the scheme and its far-reaching impact on households, gender roles, women’s entrepreneurship and the energy economy are a matter of academic research.
The Minister also talked about the transformation brought by DBT-PAHAL programme that has not only streamlined and modernized the LPG subsidy mechanism with direct transfer of subsidy into beneficiary bank accounts but also helped in weeding out 4.49 crore dummy LPG connections, saving the national exchequer Rs. 71,301 crores.
Highlighting the growth of the LPG sector in India in recent years especially due to efforts of the government, the Minister said that LPG coverage in India has improved to 105.4% in Nov 2022, as compared to 61.9% as in April, 2016. The no. of LPG distributors has increased to 25327 as on November 01, 2022, as compared to 13896 as on April 01, 2014.
In his concluding remarks, the Minister noted that World LPG Week 2022 will provide a perfect platform for communication and cooperation among the best in the industry to allow the exchange of ideas, knowledge and views on the role of LPG in the energy transition to a low carbon future.