Briefing: Phasing out kerosene in rural India


The Climate Parliament is pleased to announce the publication of a new Policy Briefing, produced by consultancy firm IISD, which explores the current system of kerosene subsidies in India, the key issues facing this system and the implications of kerosene subsidies for the dissemination of clean, alternative off-grid solar lighting solutions. It is one of a series of three policy briefs examining the links between the use of kerosene fuel and off-grid solar applications for lighting in rural India.

Kerosene consumption is high in India, accounting for 15 percent of global consumption. Subsidised kerosene sold through the public distribution system (PDS) remains a primary source of lighting for many rural households and, to a lesser extent, cooking for urban and peri-urban households. Kerosene subsidies impose a burden on the government’s finances, in FY 2014-15 total kerosene subsidies amounted to INR 24,799 crore representing 34.2 per cent of total fuel subsidies. Despite widespread use, kerosene subsidies have been at the centre of energy policy debates for many years due to the intrinsic problems with kerosene use itself and the inefficiencies in kerosene distribution, which are both examined in detail in the policy brief, which is available here.

The Climate Parliament, following the findings of the study, is now in the process of preparing Parliamentary intervention material such as questions, signed letters to ministers, etc based on the outputs and recommendations of the brief. This is addition to meeting and discussing the issues with individual MPs.

See also: Policy Briefing 2 (Building a market for off grid solar lighting in India) and Policy Briefing 3 (Lighting homes in rural India with sustainable solutions)

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