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India's government will partly fund a $2 billion gas pipeline project linking five eastern states to help kick-start economic growth in a region that has trailed the rest of the country, the oil minister said Wednesday.Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the government will meet 40 percent of the cost of the pipeline that will run through the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha, which together account for nearly 40 percent of India's 1.3 billion population.India's gas demand is expected to go up by as much as 10 million cubic meters a day once the pipeline is completed in a little more than two years.
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