LPG cap draws flak

LPG cap draws flak

The controversial decision to cap the number of subsidised LPG cylinders was criticised at the Congress conclave, forcing the government to say it will take a final decision on this issue shortly.

As several members attending the closed-door meeting demanded that the cap be raised to 12 cylinders per annum, Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily said he will shortly meet the prime minister and the finance minister to discuss the issue. Most of the members who attended the meeting agreed to raise the cap, informed sources said. Many speakers at the conclave called for a “please all” budget for 2013-14, with an eye on the Lok Sabha elections and stressed that the budget should have schemes for different sections of the society. Next year’s budget happens to be the last full budget that the government will be presenting before its term ends in May, 2014.

The members said programmes which give “maximum returns in minimum possible time” should be announced. A couple of them sought setting up of a committee to receive suggestions on such programmes and schemes. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke of the programmes that the government delivered in the last eight years and the record GDP growth. He, however, expressed concern over the fiscal deficit and increase in expenditure owing to an inflated subsidy bill. Inflation, he admitted, was a huge challenge.

Finance minister P Chidambaram said despite the global slowdown since 2008, India did well as the GDP never slipped below seven per cent, except in 2008-09 and 2011-12.

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