New Delhi: Consumers who had voluntarily given up cooking gas subsidy or never claimed one can avail the benefit by asking their gas agency at a time when boiling crude oil price is making the kitchen fuel costly, reported the Economic Times citing oil company executives.
The steep rise in crude oil prices has increased the domestic rate of non-subsidised cooking gas by Rs 389 a cylinder, or 79 per cent, in the past two years. Compared with the cost of refill sold at subsidised rate grew meagre 17.6 per cent in the last two years. This has meant a six times increase in subsidy to Rs 376.6 on a 14-kg cylinder from Rs 62.9 two years ago, as per the report.
At present, India has approximately 24.5 crores domestic LPG consumers, of which about two crore customers, 8.3 per cent, do not receive a subsidy. About 1.04 crore customers relinquished subsidy in the last couple of years, responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to surrender subsidy so that scarce state resources can be distributed to the needy.
In 2015, PM Modi had appealed to well-to-do sections to voluntarily give up subsidised cooking gas, saying this would enable the Centre to benefit more of the poor.
The financial daily mentioned that two crore consumers not receiving subsidy also include those who didn’t submit their bank account or Aadhaar number for transfer of subsidy as well as those who have an annual taxable income of over Rs 10 lakh.
Currently, every household is entitled to 12 LPG cylinders of 14.2 kg each at subsidised rates in a year. Any number beyond that is to be bought at market rate.
Last month, the cost of subsidised LPG cylinder hiked by Rs 2.89 per cylinder to Rs 502.4 per cylinder. According to a PTI report, the subsidy transfer in consumers’ bank account has been raised to Rs 376.60 per cylinder in October against Rs 320.49 per cylinder in September 2018.