A new initiative in India aimed at expanding rural access to propane comes with an interesting clause: All new propane dealers must make their wives their business partners. Meanwhile, propane-selling bachelors would be required to add their wives after the wedding, according to The Hindu newspaper.
The wife rule is part of a larger plan by the government-run Indian Oil Company (IOC) to expand propane’s presence among the country’s rural population. The IOC wants to add 173 propane outlets, in an ongoing effort to give 75-percent of the country LPG access by 2015. About 55-percent of the country has LPG access, and the majority of the propane users live in cities.
With the initiative, the government wants to encourage more Indian women to become entrepreneurs. Similarly, applications to start up one of the new dealerships are limited to people between the ages of 21 and 45, to stoke younger country-dwellers to enter the marketplace.
One of the new dealers can expect to make about 10,000 rupees a month, or about $220. The Indian propane market is focused primarily on cooking fuel.