Look into the mirror, minister!

Kettle calls pot black

Look into the mirror, minister!

If Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy is to be believed, every household in the country that consumes more than six LPG cylinders a year may be indulging in acts of dishonesty.

On Tuesday, Reddy asserted that an average household doesn’t require more than six cylinders a year. If the demand crosses the six-cylinder mark, the implication is clear to the minister: cooking gas is diverted to non-cooking purposes. 

The minister’s assertion came at the end of a two-day Economic Editors Conference in the national capital, as he vociferously stated in response to a barrage of questions from mediapersons on whether the government would consider raising the limit of subsidised cylinders pegged at six a year.

“We (the government) have said we will provide six subsidised cooking gas cylinders for each family in a year. Now, if there is a demand for more than this, it means, the refills are going somewhere else than just cooking,” he said.

It was not long ago that an official website came out with the names of VIP gas guzzlers, which also included Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy, who used 26 cylinders in a year. But the same minister remained seemingly unnerved by the large-scale public outcry for raising the cylinder cap.

Reddy has perhaps forgotten that his family consumed as many as 26 cylinders in one year, according to the information put out on a government website three months ago. Ironically, the portal was launched by the minister himself.

While the government maintains that an average Indian household needs only six subsidised LPG cylinders in a year, the decision has spelt trouble for a large number of families across the country.

But while these families may buy additional cylinders paying the market price charged by authorised gas supply agencies, the assertion by Reddy that consumers divert gas cylinders for non-cooking purposes raises eyebrows .
The minister, however, acknowledged that in urban areas, people need more cooking gas cylinders than their rural counterparts.

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