Make in India to get Rs 22,000 crore boost from city gas expansion
NEW DELHI: The rapid expansion in city gas networks undertaken by the Modi government will open a Rs 22,600 crore ‘Make in India’ market for ancillary equipment needed for piping natural gas to households and refuelling CNG vehicles, say a clutch of government notes. According to the notes, prepared for an oil ministry event on Thursday to showcase India’s CGD (city gas distribution) programme, the expansion of CNG and PNG services will also create nearly four lakh direct employment opportunities by 2027. The projections are bound to lift the mood as it come amid slowing economic growth. Only 34 GAs (geographical areas, akin to licence areas across districts in a state) in the country had city gas distribution networks till 2014. Since then, government has given out 174 GAs for building city gas distribution networks. After 136 GAs are given out in the ninth and 10th rounds of auction, city gas distribution networks will cover 70% of the population and 53% of the country’s geographical area spanning 400 districts across 27 states. The programme has an estimated investment potential of Rs 90,000 crore. The number of households with PNG connections will rise to over 4 crore from 55 lakh, while the number of CNG stations will go up from 1,838 to 10,000 by 2024. Such a scale of network expansion will need huge quantities of pipes, mechanical and smart meters, PNG regulators, compressors and boosters pumps etc, which will open up opportunities for domestic manufacturing. Similarly, the notes say there will be demand for 3.75 lakh skilled, semiskilled and unskilled manpower to run and maintain the networks. According to the government, 31% of this manpower requirement will be for skilled personnel, 56% for semi-skilled and 13% for unskilled workers.