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Friday, January 31, 2014

Cabinet approves subsidised LPG cylinder cap from 9 to 12

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved raising ceiling on subsidised LPG cylinders from nine in a year to 12 to each household.

The Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved the proposal that ensures that almost 99 per cent of the population gets subsidised cooking gas.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had demanded an increase in the number of subsidised LPG cylinder while addressing his party workers at a conclave in Delhi earlier this month.

"Pradhan mantri-ji (Prime Minister, Sir), we cannot make do with just nine subsidised cylinders of cooking gas. Women in this country need more. We need 12 per family, sir, please increase the quota,"  the Congress Vice President had said.

Announcing the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily said raising the LPG quota will cost Rs.5,000 crore in additional subsidy annually.

Households will get one cylinder extra, on top of the quota of 9 cylinders, in February and March and from April they will be entitled for 12 cylinders -- one cylinder per month at subsidised rates, he said.

Moily also said the direct benefit transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme, where consumers in as many as get 289 districts in 18 states got the subsidy amount in their bank accounts so that they could buy cooking gas at market rate, has been put on hold.

Explaining the reasons behind the move to put on hold a scheme that was dubbed 'game-changer', he said there were complaints about implementation of the scheme and a committee has been formed to look into them.

"Pending the committee examining the issues, the Aadhaar-linked LPG subsidy transfer has been put on hold," he said.

DBTL, under which consumers got Rs.435 advance money in their bank accounts so as to help them buy a LPG cylinder at market price, was this month extended to 105 districts including Delhi and Mumbai.

- With PTI inputs.
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