The government on Sunday launched a massive scheme to supply domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to three fourths of the country in five years, which will also see half of all the people in the 600 districts use the cleaner fuel .
The Rajiv Gandhi LPG Vitarak Yojana will also make LPG available to three- fifths of the rural folks by 2015. Oil Minister Murli Deora presided over the selection of distributors of LPG at Laxmangarh, nearly 50 km from Jaipur. The Scheme is implemented by three oil marketing companies Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation.
LPG will be distributed at rural and urban areas at the same price. Deora also said that the central government, Rajasthan authorities and IOC are looking at setting up a refinery in the state, that will process the crude produced by Cairn Energies from the Barmer Fields. The project is being studied by a panel chaired by former petroleum secretary SC Tripathi. He is expected to submit his report in two weeks, the Minister said. Apurva Chandra, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum said the Ministry is hopeful of getting the under-recoveries of oil retailers (losses due to selling fuel below cost) fully compensated by the government.
Ministry sources who did not wish to be named, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has agreed to give an extra Rs 19000 crore towards subsidy to oil retailers for selling Kerosene and LPG below cost. The Finance Minster had earlier approved Rs 12000 crore towards oil subsidy this fiscal. The government has decided to give subsidy only by way of cash instead of the earlier practice of issuing oil bonds.