New Delhi, Apr 11: India has added another feather in its cap. It is now the second largest importer of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) in the world and ahead of Japan, a report said. On the top spot is China. The achievement is a result of Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s drive – the Ujjwala Yojana – to provide clean cooking fuel to millions of poor families which has increased the overall demand of LPG by nearly 8 per cent in 2017-18.

Noteworthy, India beat Japan to become the world’s third-largest consumer of crude oil after the US and China in 2016. And, in a good news, both International Energy Agency and Opec look at India as the main driver of growth in global oil demand for the upcoming 10 years. (ALSO READ: Now Book LPG Cylinders Through Facebook, Twitter- Follow These Simple Steps)

Meanwhile, PM Modi is expected to flag the success of Ujjwala Yojana at 16th International Energy Forum ministerial in New Delhi on Wednesday. He will be addressing policymakers and oil industry captains at the event where he is likely to emphasise on the country’s potential in the energy market. He may also press upon the need for an equitable global pricing regime.

Recently, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had claimed that a total of nine crore new LPG connections have been distributed in the last four years, including 3.5 crore connections provided under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).

The Petroleum and Natural Gas minister also added that LPG penetation across India has improved drastically. He asserted that the government’s target of providing gas connections to nine crore BPL (Below Poverty Line) families by 2020 “will be incorporating genuinely poor households left out of socio economic caste survey (SECC) list and now will be empowering a wider section of society.”

Ujjwala Yojana was launched in May 2016. Under the scheme, government provides LPG connections to BPL families with a support of Rs 1,600 per connection.

The prices of non-subsidised LPG, or cooking gas, were reduced by Rs 35.50 per cylinder, and that of the subsidised one by a marginal Rs 1.74 on April 1. After the revised rates, a 14.2 kg non-subsidised cooking gas cylinder now costs Rs 653.50 in Delhi, as compared to Rs 689. Similarly, the non-subsidised LPG cylinder now costs Rs 676 in Kolkata, Rs 625 in Mumbai and 663.50 in Chennai.