NSSO Survey Results: Fuel Shortage in Rural Areas

NSSO Survey Results: Fuel Shortage in Rural Areas

Question: Fuel is hardly available to users in rural areas despite provisions for the same. Elaborate.

- Subsidies flowing towards sale of kerosene through PDS has not resulted in widespread availability of fuel across the kitchens in India

- This is true in towns as well as villages whereby fuel remains a chief source for lighting lamps and lanterns in rural areas which lack power connections

- Latest NSSO survey has revealed that in rural areas, subsidised kerosene was used in lower than 1% of the kitchens

- These households mostly relied on firewood and chips as a form of fuel for cooking in the year 2011-2012

- After firewood(67%), cooking has cylinders have come through as the second most preferred kitchen fuel in rural settings with a share of 15 percent

- In urban areas, they fire around 68% of the stoves while kerosene usage is estimated at 5.7%

- When it comes to lighting homes in villages, share of kerosene is pegged at 26.5%

- Electricity’s share is estimated at 72.7%

- In urban India, 3.2% of households employ kerosene for lighting and share of electricity is around 96%

- There is reduced dependance on kerosene despite government doling out subsidised fuel used in large quantities for adulteration or finding its way to the open market

- Presently, GoI pays INR 18.51 as subsidy for every litre of kerosene sold through PDS

- Under recovery on the sale of kitchen fuel by oil marketing companies added close to INR 24,800 crore during the previous financial year

- Government garnered around INR 5000 crore of the burden and the extra burden was borne by state run companies

- Government has been aiming to reform subsidy delivery mechanism but NSSO results show large parts of Bihar and UP still relying on cake and firewood to a great degree

- Use of firewood and chips for cooking has fallen over the years from 78.2% in rural households in 1993-1994 to 67.3% in 2011-2012

- LPG household usage has grown from less than 2% of rural households 20 years back to 15% in 2011-2012

Facts and Stats

Percentage of households using kerosene in different states are as follows :

- West Bengal(rural): 29.3%
- Chhattisgarh(urban): 3.6%
- Bihar(rural): 73.5%
- UP(rural): 58.5%
- Bihar(urban): 17.2%
- UP(urban): 10.8%
- Assam (rural): 43.3%
- Assam(urban): 7.9%
- Jharkhand(rural): 36.8%
- Gujarat(urban): 5.2%
- Odisha(rural): 32.3%

- Cow-dung cake was the major fuel for rural households in Uttar Pradesh (33.4%) Punjab (30.3%), Haryana (24%) and Bihar (20.8%).

- TN has highest use of LPG among rural households with 75% of the state using it for cooking followed by Kerala and Punjab

- LPG use was least in Chhattisgarh (1.5%), then Jharkhand(2.9%) and Odisha(3.9%)
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