Govt suspends LPG subsidy transfer scheme; hikes cylinder quota

New Delhi: The Central government on Thursday raised the quota of subsidised cooking gas from 9 to 12 cylinders per household in a year as demanded by Rahul Gandhi even as it suspended operation of UPA’s game-changer’ scheme to pay LPG subsidy in cash to consumers directly.

Announcing the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily said raising the quota of subsidised LPG to 12 cylinders from nine at present, will cost Rs 5,000 crore in additional subsidy annually.

At the AICC meeting in Delhi a fortnight ago, Rahul Gandhi had demanded raising the LPG cap telling Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that “nine cylinders are not enough” putting pressure on the government.

After today’s decision, households will get one cylinder extra, on top of the quota of 9 cylinders, in February and March in the current financial year. From the next fiscal beginning April, they will be entitled for 12 cylinders–one per month–at subsidised rates.

Currently, a subsidised LPG cylinder costs Rs 414 in Delhi while the market price, which consumers pay for any demand beyond the quota, comes to Rs 1,241.