Center reinstates LPG subsidy, Oppn sees hints of early poll

Subsidy packaged as Rakhi gift for women; to come into effect today
Nearly 31 crore consumers will get a subsidy of Rs 200 per cylinder directly to their account (Photo | PTI)
Nearly 31 crore consumers will get a subsidy of Rs 200 per cylinder directly to their account (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI:  The Union Cabinet on Tuesday decided to offer a subsidy of Rs 200 per cylinder of LPG, a gesture that was read by the Opposition as an indication of early Lok Sabha elections. 

The hike in subsidy benefits over 31 crore active LPG users.

While the decision has been hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleague as a Rakhi gift to women, analysts saw in it a move to blunt the Opposition’s attack on price rise.

Bihar Chief Minister echoed his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee’s claim that there were indications of the Centre advancing Lok Sabha elections. Besides, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Mizoram are due for poll later this year. 

Previously, too, the government has frozen oil and gas prices before elections. For instance, in 2021, oil companies refrained from updating prices for over six months, despite a significant rise in crude prices in the international market. 

A 14.2 kg LPG cylinder will now cost Rs 903 in Delhi, down from Rs 1,103 per cylinder. Currently, the cost of a domestic LPG cylinder stands at Rs 1,103, Rs 1,129, Rs 1,102.50, and Rs 1,118.50 in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai, respectively.

The reduction will also be applicable on LPG cylinders under the Prime Minister’s Ujjwala Yojna. After the current reduction, cylinders under Ujjwala Yojna will be available at `703. The decision will take effect from Wednesday. The total cost of the move to the exchequer is not yet fully known.

“Today on the pious occasion of the Onam and Rakshabandhan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided that the prices of LPG cylinders will be cut by Rs 200 for all domestic consumers,” said Anurag Thakur. The government will compensate oil marketing companies for selling LPG cylinders at a reduced price. 

Petrol, diesel price
The reduction in LPG prices is also aimed at curbing retail inflation, which reached a 15-month high of 7.44% in July this year. However, it’s important to note that there has been no change in the 
prices of petrol and diesel in the country so far

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