Millennium Post

Conspiracy to scrap kerosene subsidy flayed

“If the Government of India is actually contemplating such a harsh and punitive measure, it would impose considerable hardship on the people of a state like Tamil Nadu,” AIADMK leader and Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to reconsider the move.

Recalling the memorandum submitted to Modi by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa seeking increase in the monthly allocation of kerosene to Tamil Nadu to its full requirement of 65,140 kilolitres per month, Panneerselvam said, presently allotment of PDS kerosene to Tamil Nadu, after 10 successive reductions from 59,780 KL in March 2010, stood at 29,056 KL. He requested Modi to restore the state’s monthly kerosene allocation to its full requirement to ensure that the poor and the middle classes are saved from “unnecessary hardship”.

Karunanidhi said supply of kerosene through the PDS should not be cancelled as it was considered as a fuel for lighting lamps of the rural poor. Steps were being taken after the BJP assumed power at the Centre to lower or do away with subsidy in several sectors, he said in a statement. MDMK chief Vaiko, who has come under flak from the state BJP for his criticism of the NDA government on various issues including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s greetings to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and ‘imposition’ of Hindi, said “considering the welfare of the common man, the Centre should drop such proposals.”

He said with current supply of some 29,060 KL, the state was able to address only 45 per cent of its demand. “At a time when the state government is requesting the Centre to supply the full requirement of 65,140 KL of kerosene, it is condemnable that the Centre is planning to do away with the subsidy,” he pointed out.
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