Government may reduce subsidised LPG cylinders to rich

July 18th, 2012 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, July 18 (IANS) The central government is mulling reducing the subsidy on cooking gas by limiting supply of LPG cylinders to those who do not belong to the economically weaker section category, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas R.P.N Singh said here Wednesday.

The government plans to save Rs.10,000 crore following the move, he said.

“We are in the advanced stage of a decision to reduce the subsidy burden on cooking gas by capping the number of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders supplied to other than the economically weaker section customers,” Singh told reporters on the margins of a conference here.

The state-run oil marketing firms collectively bear a whopping subsidy burden of Rs.36,000 crore on the cooking gas cylinders as the government had not decontrolled its price.

“If we supply gas cylinders to the economically poor who deserve subsidy and restrict it to the rich, the government will be able to save about Rs.10,000 crore annually,” Singh said at the 17th Refining Technology Meet, organised by the state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and the Centre for High Technology.

Singh, however, ruled out decontrol of diesel price as it was a sensitive issue and any rise in its price would have a cascading impact on the economy.

“We are looking at a partial decontrol of diesel which would have minimal impact on the prices of other commodities but help us in reducing the fiscal deficit,” Singh hinted.

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