LPG for the poor: Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan promises 5-kg refills

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Dharmendra Pradhan
New Delhi, Nov 11: The NDA government seems to be gearing up to meet the expectations of the poor from the new government. Ramping up the previous LPG rules, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that he is planning to increase the 5 Kg LPG cylinder supply to help the poor who otherwise buy it in black from the market.

He said,"Can every consumer afford to pay Rs. 810 per cylinder of LPG? No. So, borrowing a common marketing practice from FMCG companies, which sell shampoo sachets at Rs. 2 each, if I provide LPG in smaller cylinders, I can make cooking gas affordable for my entire 160 million consumer base. That is what I would define as a reform measure that benefits the common man."

January 1 onwards, under the Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG (DBTL), every consumer will have to pay the full price of Rs 810 for each 14.2 Kg LPG cylinder.

The subsidy of Rs 393 per cylinder will then be credited to his/her bank account after the purchase of every LPG cylinder. The smaller 5 kg cyclinders will also be on subsidy on a pro-rata basis.

Highlighting another problem of the poor not registering as consumers with the public sector oil marketing companies that sell LPG cylinders, the minister said,"I am directing state-owned oil companies to make available 5 kg subsidised LPG cylinders on an all-India basis. This will put an end to the black marketing and pilferage of 5 kg cylinders, which are currently available only for consumers in hilly and remote locations."

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