New Delhi: Government today declared 2016 as the 'Year of LPG Consumers' while unveiling plans to make the clean cooking fuel available to all households by end of 2018 and roll out online bill payment facility and transparent gas cylinders.
"The 2016 will be Year of LPG Consumers. We will work to increase accessibility and availability of the cooking in the country. In coming three calender years 2016, 2017 and 2018, we will set an ambitious target to provide clean cooking fuel to entire population," Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
The minister was speaking at a function to launch LPG emergency helpline number 1906 for the cooking gas consumers across the country. The consumers can call on this helpline to seek assistance to deal with gas leakage.
Mr Pradhan asked the ministry and the top brass of oil marketing companies' to make the number toll free. As for today, normal call rates will apply.
About the availability of LPG in the country, the minister said that there are 27 crore subscribers in the country, of which 16.5 crore are active subscribers and oil marketing companies cover about 60 per cent of the population.
He said: "We want to cover 100 per cent population. But we have to keep in mind their affordability and accessibility issues. We hope that a large proportion of population will avail the facility with the increase in their purchasing power due to economic growth, in next three year."
About rolling out LPG online bill payment service, the minister said: "The pilot experiment is on. We will launch this service during the 2016 calender year."
On the launch of composite transparent cylinder, the minister assured that it will be a reality in the financial year 2016-17.