The government looks to overhaul its city gas distribution policy to clear major hurdles holding back expansion of piped cooking gas in the country.
The government has started work on reviewing rules, which companies say need to be changed to encourage them to take up gas distribution in cities and set up gas stations on highways without time-consuming procedures and unnecessary costs. The government aims to treble its domestic piped gas consumer base to one crore by 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who presided over a deeper penetration of piped gas in Gujarat during his term as chief minister of the state. But at the current pace — the country added barely 3 lakh new domestic piped gas consumers in 2015-16 — the target is unlikely to be met, oil ministry officials said. At the beginning of the current fiscal year, the number of domestic piped gas consumers stood at 31.6 lakh.