India has toppled Japan as the world’s second-largest importer of LPG, it has been revealed.
The news comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge to provide cooking gas cylinders to the poor and wean them off polluting fuels drove up consumption.
Imports of LPG, mostly used as cooking fuel, soared 23% during the financial year to 31 March to 11 million tons, according to data from oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell.
Japan’s imports slipped 3.2% during the same period to 10.6 million tons, according to its finance ministry. China remains the world’s top importer.
A push to provide free cooking gas connections to women in poor households in India has resulted with a record distribution of 32.5 million new cooking gas connections during the year.
India aims to increase LPG usage to cover 80% of its households by March 2019, compared with the 72.8% that now use it.