Announcing the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily said that raising the LPG quota will cost Rs 5,000 crore in additional subsidy annually. (Agencies)
It needs to be mentioned here that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during All India Congress Committee (AICC) session on January 17 had asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to increase the quota of subsidized LPG to 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg each.
Households will get one cylinder extra, on top of the quota of 9 cylinders, in February and March and from April they will be entitled for 12 cylinders - one cylinder per month at subsidized rates, he said.
Moily also said the direct benefit transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme, where consumers in as many as get 289 districts in 18 states got the subsidy amount in their bank accounts so that they could buy cooking gas at market rate, has been put on hold.
Explaining the reasons behind the move to put on hold a scheme that was dubbed 'game-changer’, he said that there were complaints about implementation of the scheme and a committee has been formed to look into them.
"Pending the committee examining the issues, the Aadhaar-linked LPG subsidy transfer has been put on hold," he said.
DBTL, under which consumers got Rs 435 advance money in their bank accounts so as to help them buy a LPG cylinder at market price, was this month extended to 105 districts including Delhi and Mumbai.
Currently, a subsidized LPG cylinder costs Rs 414 while the market price comes to Rs 1,021.
There had also been demands from within the Congress to scrap the DBTL as many consumers did not either have the Aadhaar number or banks accounts linked to the Aadhaar number.
Moily said that 89.2 percent of the 15 crore LPG consumers use up to nine cylinders per year and only 10 percent have to buy the additional requirement at the market price.
After the quota is raised to 12, about 97 percent of the LPG consumers would be covered by subsidized LPG, he said.
The government had initially capped the supply of subsidized domestic LPG cylinders to six per household annually in September 2012, in a bid to cut its subsidy bill. The quota was raised to nine in January 2013.
Consumers, who have exhausted their quota, have to buy LPG at the market price of Rs 1,258 per cylinder. Subsidized LPG costs Rs 414 per cylinder in Delhi.
Announcing the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily said that raising the LPG quota will cost Rs 5,000 crore in additional subsidy annually.