Give up LPG subsidy for nation: Oil firms

Give up LPG subsidy for nation: Oil firms

After giving LPG subsidy to consumers, the oil companies are now cajoling consumers to voluntarily forego the subsidy of Rs 500 on a domestic LPG cylinder in order to participate in the so called “Nation Building”.

Domestic LPG consumers in the City and other parts of the State have been getting a message on their mobile phones registered with the LPG dealers, which reads, “Want to join nation building? It’s simple - just give up LPG subsidy. Visit the oil company's website or the distributor for details.”

Officials of all the three oil companies claim that this way, those who can afford a non-subsidised cylinder, are being encouraged to buy domestic cylinders at Rs 955 instead of Rs 422, which is the subsidised rate of a domestic cylinder. This will ease the burden on the government, which will be able to utilise the subsidy amount for development projects. After the messages were sent out, 1,471 Indane customers across India have given up their subsidy.

An oil company official, on condition of anonymity, said the companies buy fuel in the global market and supply it to consumers at subsidised rates. But the government is not quick in reimbursing the subsidy and the companies have to struggle with mounting subsidy bill, which runs into several crores of rupees.  According to estimates, in 2012-13, the subsidy amount totaled to Rs 40,000 crore for about 13 crore consumers.

IOC head of Bangalore division for LPG, Abhijeet Dey, said, “This scheme of withdrawing the LPG subsidy was there in the past as well. Now, we are giving a little push through SMSes and the names of those foregoing their subsidy are also being put up on our websites to inspire others. Out of our total customer base, about one per cent have given up their subsidy in the past”.

Mathew Thomas, Managing Trustee, The Fourth Estate, said, “It is deceitful to ask people to give up subsidy in this way. If they are so concerned about  cutting government expenditure and nation building, why so many exemptions are being given to government canteens and other such places?”

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