New Delhi: Poor people in Delhi will get three extra subsidised cooking gas cylinders, Delhi government announced on Monday providing relief to 3.56 lakh economically weaker families from the Centre's cap of six cylinders annually.

The decision, which will put a burden of Rs 42 crore annually on the exchequer, was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit making Delhi the first state to take such a step after the Centre announced the cap on cooking gas cylinders last week.

"Our government is committed to safeguard the interests of 'aam aadmi'. That is why we have decided to provide three extra subsidised cylinders to the poor families," Dikshit said.

The Delhi Government had launched a scheme last month to make Delhi kerosene free by giving free gas stoves, cylinder and regulator to all families covered under BPL, Antyodaya Anna Yojna and Jhuggi Ration Card and Dikshit said the extra LPG cylinders will be given to all beneficiaries of the ambitious programme.

"All the beneficiaries of the 'Kerosene Free Dilli' scheme will get nine subsidised cylinders instead of six. It is significant step towards providing relief to the poor families by mitigating the effects of inflation as far as cooking gas is concerned," the chief minister said.

The Centre last week had decided that each household will get 6 cylinders of 14.2-kg per annum at the subsidized rate of Rs 399 and any requirement beyond that would have to be procured at the market rate of Rs 746 per bottle.

Under the scheme, each of over 3.5 lakh BPL and poor families will get a free LPG cylinder, gas stove and accessories like regulator and pipe which will cost the government a Rs 3,049.

"The Cabinet decision will benefit more than 3.56 lakh poor families. We will release an amount of Rs 42 crore per annum for this purpose," Dikshit said

Asked whether the excess amount of Rs 347 per cylinder will be given to oil companies or the beneficiaries, officials said the details are being worked out.

(Agencies)

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