December 13th, 2012

Don’t subsidise cooking gas for rich: Panel

New Delhi : Close on the heels of the Government stating that the raise on the subsidised cooking gas cylinder was under consideration, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas in its 15th Report on Wednesday strongly disapproved providing any concessions for the rich and the affluent.
The Committee in its Report tabled in Parliament said it had urged the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry to devise ways and means for better targeting of subsidies being provided by the Government for needy sections of the society.
Minister Veerappa Moily had yesterday said the Government was considering a raise on subsidised domestic gas cylinders from the present six to nine, though on an objection by the Election Commission in view of the model code being in force due to Gujarat elections, he later said that no further step would be taken in that direction.
The Committee while recognising that the subsidy on LPG cylinders might be a welfare measure for the needy sections of the society, this measure was being utilised by a section of the people who needed no subsidy and could afford to pay the full cost of the cylinder.
That was why it had in its 8th Report had recommended the Government might do away with providing cheap cylinders to the rich and affluent sections of the population having an income of more than Rs six lakh per annum including those holding the constitutional posts, public representatives like MPs, MLAs, MLCs and senior government officials etc.
The Standing Committee also expressed its disapproval of the Government decision to universally cap the number of subsidised LPG cylinders to six in a year without any income stipulation.
It asked the Government to review this decision without any delay.

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