Millennium Post

Ministry may restrict MPs to 6 cylinders a year

Ministry may restrict MPs to 6 cylinders a year
The petroleum ministry has decided to take the dictum 'charity begins at home' seriously. Following the exposure of the 'guzzler-like consumption' of the subsidised LPG cylinders by legislators and parliamentarians, the ministry is planning to introduce a rule to cap the release of subsidised LPG cylinders annually to six for parliamentarians.

The LPG cylinders for domestic connections come with a subsidy of Rs 345 per cylinder. In the last financial year, approximately 960 crore subsidised cylinders were supplied to consumers by the different petroleum companies, raising the government subsidy bill to over Rs 33,000 crore. Among those who avail of the subsidy given by the government includes parliamentarians, ministers and leading businessmen.

The government had initially planned to bring a rule to cap issue of six cylinders annually per family. This was, however, resisted by consumer bodies, which pointed out that government should bring a more logical rule instead of a blanket order to avoid passing benefit of subsidy to the non-deserving people, for example, corporate honchos like Mukesh Ambani and Sunil Mittal.

Taking the cue, the government now plans to start the annual cap policy of six subsidised cylinders from its own community, making the rule applicable to parliamentarians first. The ministry thereafter proposes to extend the rule to state legislators, to be followed by senior government officials. 'Thereafter the corporates would be encouraged to forgo the subsidy,' said a ministry official, accepting that rationalisation would not be easy given the multiple connections in each home.

Recently the transparency portal of the petroleum ministry had raised a controversy after it made public the LPG cylinder consumption figures, specially those in the name of the prominent people. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati headed the list with consumption of 91 cylinders last year, closely followed by former telecom minister A Raja, whose tally stood at 89.
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