CHANDIGARH: Three and half years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to well-to-do sections of society to voluntarily give up the subsidy on LPG cylinders, saying that it would enable the government to provide more benefits to the poor. About 4 per cent of the LPG buyers in the country gave up the cooking gas subsidy. In Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Chandigarh, this figure is higher than the national average, at 6 per cent. But in Himachal Pradesh, the figures are less impressive, as only 75, 475 of the 15 lakh consumers (about five per cent) have given up the LPG subsidy.
As per the data with oil companies, there are 26 crore LPG customers all over the country, with 25.7 crores of them being domestic customers. But only 21.9 crore LPG connections are in use, and of these about 44 per cent consumers have two domestic connections. About 1.25 crore consumers have surrendered their subsidy till date across the country. Every LPG consumer who surrenders the subsidy is linked to a BPL household that gets the LPG connection in turn.
When this scheme was started by Modi in March 2015, the Central government decided to encourage consumers with a taxable income of at least `10 lakh to give up the subsidy.
The north-eastern states, Maharashtra and Delhi are at the top in consumers surrendering the LPG subsidy, said sources.
A leading LPG dealer said many politicians, judges, bureaucrats and other senior officials, besides well-to-do people, had given up the subsidy. More than the rich the middle-class consumers had responded to the government’s initiative, he said.
The non-subsidized LPG cylinder costs `831, and the subsidized cylinder costs `500.