Oil and Gas Sector – HELP, Open Acreage Policy, etc.

The Socio-ecological effects of LPG price hikes


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Government Initiatives and Programmes;

Mains level: Issues related to affordability of LPG gas;

Why in the News? 

The ACCESS survey (2014-2015), conducted by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, found LPG’s cost to be the foremost barrier to its adoption and continued use in rural poor households.

Government Initiatives for LPG Fuel:

  • Government Initiatives: The Indian government has promoted using LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) as a clean cooking fuel, particularly in rural households.
    • These initiatives include the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin LPG Vitrak scheme, the ‘PAHAL’ scheme for direct benefit transfers, and the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aimed at providing LPG connections to below-poverty-line households.
  • Subsidies and Incentives: The government has provided subsidies and incentives to encourage the adoption of LPG without subsidies for the people who can afford it.
    • For example, the ‘Give it Up’ program encouraged consumers to voluntarily surrender their LPG subsidies, which were transferred to below-poverty-line households.


  • Affordability: Despite government efforts, the affordability of LPG remains a challenge for many households, especially those in rural and below-poverty-line communities. Reports indicate that LPG prices in India were among the highest globally around ₹300/litre.
  • Dependency on Traditional Fuels: Studies, such as the one conducted in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, highlight the continued dependency of local communities on traditional fuelwood for cooking.
  • Forest Dependency: The persistent use of fuelwood has implications for forest conservation and livelihoods, particularly in regions with degraded forests like Jalpaiguri.

Way Forward: 

  • Need for Comprehensive Solutions: While government initiatives have aimed to promote LPG use, addressing affordability issues and ensuring access to clean cooking fuels for marginalized communities require comprehensive solutions.
  • Targeted Subsidies: Implement targeted subsidies for LPG cylinders to make them more affordable for rural and below-poverty-line communities. These subsidies can be based on income levels or geographic locations to ensure that those most in need receive assistance.

Mains PYQ: 

Q In what way could replacement of price subsidy with direct benefit Transfer (DBT) change the scenario of subsidies in India? Discuss.(UPSC IAS/2015)

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