Cabinet accepts Rahul Gandhi’s LPG subsidy demand, increases cap from 9 to 12

INDIA

Cabinet accepts Rahul Gandhi’s LPG subsidy demand, increases cap from 9 to 12

Days after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi demanded an increase in the LPG cyclinder subsidy cap from 9 to 12, the Cabinet on Thursday approved the quota hike.

Making the announcement, Oil Minister Veerappa Moily stated, “The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs has decided that from April 2014, each household will get 12 cylinders a year on subsidised rates”.

Hike in the subsidised LPG quota will cost Rs 5,000 crore more to the exchequer. Meanwhile, the decision to credit LPG subsidy directly to the bank accounts of the consumers (Aadhaar-linked transfer) has been put on hold by the Cabinet.

Agreeing that hike in LPG subsidised cylinders was a genuine demand by Rahul Gandhi, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari clarified that the decision had nothing to do with the upcoming elections. “Rahul being an important part of the party, his suggestion always mattered,” he said.

During an All India Congress Committee session in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi had stated that nine cylinders were not enough for households and there was a need to increase this quota to 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg.

With a view to cutting its subsidy bill, the government had initially capped the supply of subsidised domestic LPG cylinders to six per household in a year in September 2012. Later the annual quota was raised to nine in January 2013.

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