Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday said it will send a delegation to plead its case with the Centre for relaxing the cap on the number of subsidised LPG cylinders keeping in view the unique climatic conditions of the state.

"After the Assembly session is over, we will send a delegation to the Centre to convince the government of India to relax the cap for the state in view of the extreme winter conditions," Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) Minister Qamar Ali Akhoon said replying to the adjournment motion of opposition parties on the issue of LPG crisis.

He said the state government has already apprised the Centre about difficulties which would be caused by the six-cylinder per year cap on supply of LPG. Akhoon said the government has already identified five blocks for setting up new gas agencies to improve the distribution network.

Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, while responding to demand of several members that state bear the subsidy burden up to another six cylinders per year, said it will put tremendous strain on the cash-strapped state government.

"If we give subsidy on another six cylinders, we will be incurring a loss of Rs 520 crore per year and on three cylinders it will be Rs 260 crore," Rather said.

The Minister said 44 per cent of the 15 lakh consumers in the state were using less than six cylinders per year. Not satisfied with the government reply, the opposition parties including PDP, BJP and NPP members staged a walkout from the Assembly in protest.

Later the House passed a resolution by voice vote, calling on the Centre to take a "sympathetic" view on Jammu and Kashmir and relax the cap on number of subsidised LPG cylinders in the state.


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