Odisha govt opposes move to wipe out LPG subsidy

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: The state government on Tuesday opposed the decision of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry to systematically lift LPG subsidy by raising the price of cooking gas by Rs. 4 every month till next March.
terming the decision as unfortunate, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare minister Surya Narayan Patro accused the Centre of cheating people by providing subsidy in some states in view of elections. The BJD would approach people and protest against the move, he added.
The Rajya Sabha too witnessed uproarious scenes with the opposition contending that the rich had given up subsidy on cooking gas following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal so that the poor could benefit. Now, the poor were also being denied subsidy even as global oil prices are at a record low, the opposition added.
At present, the government gives a subsidy of a little above Rs 58 on a domestic subsidised LPG cylinder and around Rs 28 is borne by the oil marketing companies.
The Centre has already removed price controls on most fuels.
Earlier, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum and other public sector oil marketing companies were asked to increase the rates of subsidized domestic gas by Rs 2 per 14.2 kg every month (excluding VAT) with effect from July 1, 2016.
Later, the government vide order dated May 30, 2017, again authorised the oil marketing companies to continue to increase the effective price of subsidized domestic LPG by Rs 4 per cylinder (excluding VAT) with effective from June 1 this year per month (excluding VAT) till the reduction of government subsidy to ‘nil’, or till March 2018, or till further orders, whichever is earliest.
As on July 1, India had 18.12 crore subsidised LPG cylinder customers, of which, 2.5 crore customers are poor women who got connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna in the last one year. The number of non-subsidised consumers stands at 2.66 crore.
In the current system, every household gets LPG cylinders at market price. The government subsequently transfers the subsidy amount, which is currently around Rs 86 per cylinder, through direct benefit transfer to beneficiaries’ bank accounts.

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