Subsidised LPG cylinders may go up to 9

Cap may be raised after elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh

Subsidised LPG cylinders may go up to 9

The Centre is understood to be considering a proposal to increase the cap on subsidised domestic cooking gas cylinders from the current six a year to nine.

The government is likely to announce the same after the completion of the Gujarat Assembly poll which is scheduled to get over by December 17.

The proposal to increase the cap on subsidised cooking gas cylinders came in the background of strong opposition from several ministers and MPs belonging to the Congress party who complained to party president Sonia Gandhi that the decision of the current ceiling would be disastrous to the party.

The consumers have been greatly annoyed with the UPA government following the announcement of the cap, they said and demanded its increase to nine cylinders a year.

Much to the dismay of Congress, the LPG cap has become a major poll issue in Himachal Pradesh – which is going to polls on Sunday – and is likely to be so in Gujarat, which will have elections next month. In both the states, the public have staged several protests due to scarcity of LPG cylinders, subsidised and non-subsidised.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry is also understood to be working to remove the confusion created after the announcement of the LPG cap including non-availability of commercial LPG in many parts of the country.

New Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily reportedly sought a report from oil companies on the cap issue. The matter may also come up for discussion at the Congress’s top leadership meeting on November 9 at Surajkund where it is planning to review the implementation of the party's manifesto.

The Manmohan Singh government had in September announced that it was limiting the use of subsidised LPG cylinders to six a year for every household. For anything beyond that, the consumer would have to buy cylinders at market or non-subsidised rates. At present in Delhi, a non-subsidised LPG cylinder costs Rs 895.50 and the same cylinder after subsidised, costs Rs 410.42.

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