- Rural households may get cooking gas cylinders delivered at their doorsteps soon as part of Prime Minister’s push to take cleaner fuels to more homes.
- The government is looking for ways to make it viable for rural dealers to home deliver cylinders, the lack of which makes consumption of cleaner fuel slow, expensive and quite inconvenient in the hinterland.
- India has about 7 crore rural LPG consumers and 12 crore in cities. About 4,900 distributors cater to rural consumers while 11,800 dealers serve cities.
- For a rural consumer, a refill comes at a huge cost: long hours spent in visiting the dealer’s warehouse several kilometers away, repeated visits due to stock-outs on many occasions and the wages lost in that, and the hassle of arranging transport to and from warehouse, which can at times be as costly as the refill price.
- In 2009, the government launched Rajiv Gandhi Gramin LPG Vitrak scheme to increase LPG penetration in rural areas.
- The scheme did help boost rural consumer base but also brought in several complaints of poor implementation by oil companies, following which the government suspended the scheme a few months back.
- The government has now launched a comprehensive survey to understand the LPG consumption map of India and identify regions poorly covered by LPG distributors.
- The findings of survey and a follow-up direction will be shared with state oil companies for better identification of locations for dealerships and deeper penetration of LPG in rural and hilly areas.