There are about 27.5 crore LPG or cooking gas connections in the country and the coverage has reached 96.9 per cent as on January 1 this year, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
“We have 27.5 crore LPG connections in the country. Of which, 8 crore connections have been done under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY),” Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.
Responding to a query on lower LPG connections in Bihar, the minister said the state had achieved 22-23 per cent coverage when the scheme was launched.
Now, the penetration has increased to 75 per cent in the last five years. “LPG business began in the last 65 years. In 60 years, we were able to achieve 22-23 per cent coverage. But in last five years, the coverage has increased to 75 per cent. Bihar is one of the major beneficiary states of the PMUY,” he said.
The initiative to provide more LPG connections in Bihar in the future will continue, he added. Responding to another query if the government will take special measures to provide LGP connections in Naxal areas of Chhattishgarh and Jharkhand, Pradhan said the objective of PMUY is to provide cooking gas facility in most remote and backward areas of the country.
The average penetration of LPG connections in these two states was 20-25 per cent. However in the last five years, it has increased to 75 per cent in Chhattisgarh and 77 per cent in Jharkhand, he added.
To another query if the government has plans to allot cooking gas agencies or petrol pumps to people losing their kerosene business on promotion of LPG connection, the minister said kerosene, cooking gas and petrol pump businesses are different.