Opposition seeks raise in LPG cap

Moily says govt considering demands to revise the cap

A united Opposition on Friday attacked the UPA government in the Lok Sabha on the issue of subsidised LPG cylinders and demanded an increase on the cap on supply of cooking gas from the current six to 24 cylinders per year.

“Is it possible for a family with five members to manage their kitchen with just six cylinders in a year? Keeping the sentiments of the House, will you consider withdrawing the decision or do away with the rationing ?” Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj asked during Question Hour.

She said, government’s decision to limit the supply of subsidised LPG cylinders to six has created furore all over the country. Families which need extra cylinders will have to purchase them at a whopping Rs 900.

Attacking the government on the issue, Sudip Bandopadhyay of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) said cap on LPG cylinder was the only reason they pulled out from the UPA. “Our long pending demand is that the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders should be increased and for this reason only we pulled out from the government,” he said.

Bandopadhyay requested Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily to increase the quota of subsidised LPG cylinders to 24 per family in a year and sought the government’s reply on the issue at the earliest.

‘Decision to revise cap’

Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Moily said: “We do agree that there is a demand for increase, but on the question of how much to be increased, I will be discussing it with the Finance Minister and also with the Prime Minister. We are considering it and we require a few days,” he said.

However, Moily maintained that the government’s compulsion for imposing cap on cooking gas was quite clear. “As far as diesel, kerosene and LPG are concerned, more than Rs 1.64 lakh crore is paid as subsidy. Even with a cap of six cylinders the subsidy burden is Rs 36,000 crore per annum. In fact, many of these marketing companies are bleeding. Some of them are not in a position to purchase raw materials,” he said.  

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