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Fuel prices have started falling; fall to continue: Dharmendra Pradhan

New LPG connections would create 700,000-800,000 new jobs

Sohini Das  |  Ahmedabad 

Dharmendra Pradhan (pictured) and MoS Ananthkumar Hegde have been appointed to the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

At a time when prices are at a three-year high and protests are being staged across the country against it, Union Petroleum Minister claimed on Saturday that prices have already started falling, and the fall would continue. 

Speaking to the media here, Pradhan said "prices have fallen by a few paise in the last two days... the prices will fall further." Prices have fallen by 10 p between September 21 and 23, according to the Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell, operated by the oil ministry. 

Pradhan also said the recent in the US have affected and prices in India. "Government is in favour of bringing and under (goods and services tax) and the Council has been asked to consider bringing petroleum products under the Goods and Services Tax regime," he said, adding a balanced model that ensures that the government gets revenue and that citizens aren't burdened was the need of the hour. The Council was working on building such a model, he said. 

Meanwhile, while inaugurating a skill development institute here that has been developed in cooperation with ONGC, Pradhan who is also the Union minister for skill development and entrepreneurship, said the government would target adding new connections. 

The country has around 250 million households, and till the time the took charge, there were 140 million connections, the minister claimed. In a short time, the current government has added 85 million new connections taking the total to 225 million connections across India. "The next target is to have 250 million gas connections by December 2018," Pradhan said adding this would create fresh jobs for 700,000-800,000 people in ports, plants, pipeline, cylinder filling, gas agency, transportation etc. 

Another area of focus was piped natural gas connections for households. The minister said that of 3 million piped gas connections in the country, Gujarat had about half of them. "The government plans to take this number to 10 million piped gas connections and this would attract an investment of Rs 30,000-40,000 crore." 

To popularise the use of clean fuel for cooking among the rural population of the country, the central government would organise 100,000 'panchayats' across the nation in the next one-and-a-half years. Pradhan and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched the initiative at Isanpur-Mota village near Gandhinagar on Saturday.

First Published: Sat, September 23 2017. 23:39 IST