The demand for cooking gas in the country surged in March as people are cooking more at home while remaining indoors during the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
In the month of March, when sale of auto fuels petrol and diesel and even aviation turbine fuel (ATF) has fallen by upto 15-20 per cent, oil companies are witnessing a surge in demand for LPG cooking gas cylinders that has risen by almost the same margin.
The 14.2 kg LPG cylinder has become the main stay of cooking in the country as the government has expanded its coverage to over 96 per cent of households. Under Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY), additional 8 crore connections have been given to women member of poor families who were depending on wood and coal for cooking. The country in all has over 35 crore active LPG customers.
Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said that he had discussed global oil market developments with Saudi energy minister with Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Aramco’s Chief Executive Amin Nasser as well as uninterrupted LPG supplies to India.
While talk shortages are being rebutted by companies, sources indicated that a few bottling units of marketing companies are left with meagre stock of LPG and stick would need to be replenished soon to meet the rising demand.