New Delhi: The government on Wednesday categorically stated there was no overall shortage of domestic cooking gas in the country and regular supplies were being maintained.
“Public sector oil marketing companies have reported that at present, there is no overall shortage of LPG in the country,” petroleum minister Murli Deora said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
Regular LPG supplies to distributors was being made by the oil marketing companies (OMCs) through indigenous production and imports in accordance with the genuine demand of customers registered with the LPG distributors.
As on 1 June 2009, OMCs are serving 10.67 crore LPG customers through their 9,378 LPG distributorships in the country, covering about 55% of the households.
“OMCs have released 10.07 lakh new LPG connections in the country during April and May,” he said.
Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum supplied 10.63 million tonnes of domestic LPG in the country during 2008-09 against 10.29 million tonnes in the same period of the previous year, showing a growth rate of 3.26%, he said.
“The possibility of blackmarketing/ diversion of subsidized domestic LPG cylinders by some unscrupulous elements cannot be ruled out due to the wide gap between the retail price of LPG for domestic use and the market price for commercial LPG,” Deora said.
To a separate question, minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Jitin Prasada said there was no proposal before the government for introduction of 5-kg commercial LPG cylinders or for banning the use of bigger LPG cylinders of 19 kg, 35 kg and 47.5 kg for commercial purposes.