Poverty Alleviation & Gender > Projects
Gender and Energy Sector Reform in India
The study aims to provide gender based evidences in efforts to bridge the policy gap that exists between clean cooking energy access of LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas- assumed to be the clean and convenient cooking fuel in India) for cooking and its impact on the role of women. This is a 4-year study starting from February 2015. In the first year a scoping research report has been prepared to understand the issues that are likely to be of most importance and require a deep dive research. The scoping report comprehensively cover the available literature on the subject and draw upon research methodology extensively. Based on the scoping study 2 streamlined research questions have been taken up to investigate in detail.
1. How do existing LPG subsidy policies affect the welfare, productivity and empowerment of women and girls in urban, peri-urban and rural low-income households in two districts—preliminarily identified as Ranchi (in the state of Jharkhand) and Raipur (in the state of Chhattisgarh)—taking into account
- Impacts of the subsidy on LPG distribution?
- The extent to which the subsidized price is actually reflected in LPG retail prices paid by consumers?
- The extent to which lower LPG retail prices influence household fuel use?
2. How might the welfare, productivity and empowerment of women in low-income households change as a result of the following policy reforms:
- EMI (earnest monthly instalment) facility for availing LPG connection
- Implications of distribution of free LPG “connection” (registration and starter kit) to below poverty line (BPL) households
Two states Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have been selected as locations to perform the case study. These are among the 4 most backward states of India in terms of access to clean cooking energy sources. Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are two neighboring States with only 11.66% and 11.18% households using LPG as main cooking fuel and 86.90% and 87.74% households uses solid fuels for cooking. These states possess similar socioeconomic characteristics but different policy and administrative environment. For instance, as per union government scheme any BPL category people wanting a new LPG official connection of 14.2 kg cylinder, will be given a rebate of Rs 1,600. The rebate includes Rs 1,450 as security deposit for cylinder and Rs 150 as cost of pressure regulator. This policy has been further enhanced in Jharkhand where the state government is providing an additional assistance of Rs. 918.50 per connection for other items (except hot plate) thus making the LPG startup cost virtually zero for the BPL families in Jharkhand.
The case study will be developed for two specific districts Ranchi from Jharkhand and Raipur from Chhattisgarh. Raipur (36% urban and 64% rural) and Ranchi (43% urban and 57% rural) represent a balanced mix of rural and urban population in the selected state will be useful to understand the major cooking fuel issues in both rural and urban areas. Moreover, 29.5% and 19.3% households use LPG as main source of cooking in Ranchi and Raipur district respectively (Census, 2011). Therefore, given the similar socioeconomic characteristics and different level of LPG penetration in these two districts will be good case for a comparative study. The study will use combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Sponsored by: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)