Raise in cap of subsidised LPG cylinders up to oil companies: Moily
New Delhi, Nov 2: A day after the government decided to put the decision to hike non-subsidised LPG cylinder prices by Rs. 26.50 on hold, new Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily said that it was up to the oil marketing companies to decide if they wanted to raise the cap on the number of subsidised cylinders for households.
Moily told New Delhi-based News Channel that it was all about deregulation and giving more independence to the oil marketing companies.
Earlier yesterday, the government had hiked the cost of non-subsidised cooking gas cylinders by Rs. 26.50, which would have brought the cost of a non-subsidised cylinder to Rs. 922 for a household in Delhi. The same cylinder at a subsidised rate is Rs.410.42 in Delhi. In Delhi, a non-subsidised LPG cylinder costs Rs.895.50. The same cylinder subsidised, costs Rs. 410.42. If yesterday's price hike had been effected the non-subsidised cylinder would have cost Rs. 922 in Delhi.
The announcement of the hike raised more eyebrows than the volte face did. It came just three days before Himachal Pradesh votes for a new government; the Congress needs to wrest that state back from the BJP and LPG is a major poll issue. The crucial Gujarat elections are also weeks away. Then, Diwali, the most important festival in many parts of India, is round the corner.
Moily will reportedly look into how more relief can be given to the common man already hit by high inflation and the emotive and politically fraught issue is also expected to be discussed when the Congress's top leadership meets on November 9 to review the implementation of the party's manifesto.
In Himachal Pradesh, where campaigning ended today and polling will be held on Sunday, the cap on use of subsidised LPG cylinders has become a big issue. A number of regions in the hill state will soon be battling extreme cold in the winter months: a time when people in far flung and ice-capped hilly regions rely primarily on LPG cylinders, not just for cooking, but even to keep warm. Since burning of firewood is not allowed due to environmental concerns, the Centre's move has been hotly debated. One independent candidate in Shimla has even made it his election symbol. And for the Congress, it has been difficult to ignore.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 2 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 2 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 3 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST
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