New Delhi, Feb 6 : In its attempt to ease shortages of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders, the Central Government has asked the public sector oil companies to increase its supply.
"We are taking all steps and you will see the situation will ease in next few days," Petroleum Minister Murli Deora told reporters.
According to Petroleum Secretary M S Srinivasan, consumers resorting to panic booking for LPG refills following reports of a proposed steep hike in its prices lead to the shortage of cylinders, adding that extended winter also added to this problem as the fuel was being used for heating purposes.
"There are huge diversions taking place. LPG cylinders meant for domestic use are finding way to restaurants and hotels, and even wedding meals are being cooked on domestic gas," Srinivasan said.
He further said: "This year we are expected to import 2.9 million tons of LPG and even more. We imported five extra cargoes during last two months just to ease the winter demand."
During 2006-07 fiscal, India imported 2.288 million tons of LPG.
Srinivasan also said that the Centre has directed LPG bottling plant to operate even on holidays.