NEW DELHI India's demand for fuel rose 8.3 percent in December compared with the same month last year, driven by higher gasoline consumption as passenger vehicle sales rose on the back of year-end deals and discounts.
Asia's third largest economy consumed 15.8 million tonnes of fuel last month, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry showed.
Fuel consumption figures are a proxy for oil demand in India.
The rise in India's fuel consumption contrasts with a moderation in China's oil demand in 2015.
"India is set to contribute more than any other country to the projected rise in global energy demand, around one-quarter of the total...," the International Energy Agency said in a report last year.
Consumption of gasoil or diesel, which comprises about 40 percent of refined fuels used in India, rose 5.4 percent to 6.48 million tonnes.
A temporary ban on diesel vehicles, upheld by India's top court, and road rationing in capital New Delhi are likely to hit consumption.
Sales of gasoline, or petrol, surged 11.8 percent from a year earlier to 1.82 million tonnes as passenger car sales in the month rose nearly 13 percent and the fuel became cheaper, thanks to tumbling crude prices.
Cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales increased 6.2 percent to 1.78 million tonnes, while naphtha sales were 24.8 percent higher at 1.12 million tonnes.
Sales of bitumen, used on roads, were up 11.2 percent, while fuel oil use rose 12.6 percent in December.
(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal)
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