Surajkund (Haryana): A meeting of Congress leaders in Surajkund on Friday heard a strong demand for raising the cap of subsidised LPG cylinders from the current six to 12, after which Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily promised to hold talks with the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister on the issue.

The meeting of Union Ministers and party leaders was attended by Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here during which several issues concerning the government and the party were discussed.

Sources said there was near unanimity in the meeting that the government increase the cap of subsidised cooking gas cylinders from six to 12 a year.

Several leaders raised the issue of LPG cylinders at the meeting, prompting Moily to assure that he would hold talks with Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram in this regard.

"As the demand was raised, Moily said he would consider the demand and hold discussions in this regard with the Prime Minister and Finance Minister," the sources said.

The Centre had in September announced that a domestic consumer would get up to six subsidised LPG cylinders a year and that they would have to pay the market price for every additional cylinder.

In his speech, the Prime Minister admitted there were financial constraints but assured it would not affect the funding of social sector.

The sources said Singh also assured that the lack of funds would be met by investments, including FDI, in various sectors.

They said former Chhatisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi made a strong plea for Rahul Gandhi taking on bigger responsibility.

In his speech, Gandhi said change is the demand of the time and change happens from time to time. "It is the same Congress which had brought nationalisation of banks and it is the same Congress which liberalised the economy," the source quoted Rahul as saying.

Rahul also said we need to respond to new challenges and we need to meet them.

Sources said Sonia Gandhi told the meeting that a party- government Coordination Committee would be set up.

They said the conclusions of on Friday's meeting would be taken up at an extended meeting 'Chintan Shivir' whose date is yet to be announced.

The government also assured the meeting that steps would be taken to further reduce the fiscal deficit from 5.3 percent.

Rahul Gandhi, the sources said, highlighted the "paradigm shift" that the government was able to make during the years and stressed that it should be taken to the people.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari is understood to have told the meeting that every minister should present a report card of the performance of his ministry like the Home Ministry.

He also told the meeting that Ministers should engage the media more openly and they should not be diffident with the media.


Latest News from India News Desk