LPG cylinder: Jaitley for differential subsidy regime

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on March 27, 2015

The Government may end subsidy on domestic cooking gas (LPG) for the affluent section of the society, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has indicated.

“At some time, India will have to take a decision to distinguish between those who can afford to pay and those who cannot afford to pay. And those who cannot afford to pay must get the benefit of States’ support,” Jaitley said during the session on ‘Global Energy Scenario-India Perspective’ at the energy summit here on Friday.

Also, under consideration are options such as not giving subsidised LPG cylinder for people who pay higher income tax.

Taking a dig on his fellow Parliamentarians, Jaitley said, “I have repeatedly asked my colleagues in Parliament on whether they and I deserve to have subsidies transferred to our bank accounts and not one has been able to stand up and answer in the affirmative.”

He hoped that by distinguishing between those who can afford and those who cannot, the country can save some resources which can be used for promoting exploration, and refining which in turn will help in moving towards greater dependence on domestic energy means.

“Then our surplus resource is spent on subsidising the weaker section of the society who deserves this support rather than on supporting the affluent which can never be the object of any rationalised subsidy itself,” he said.

Volatility in crude price

Jaitley also hoped that volatility in oil prices will settle soon. After keeping low for some time, oil prices are again on the boil due to Saudi Arab-led coalition strikes on rebels in Yemen and rising tension in the oil producing region. Since India imports over two-thirds of its oil requirement, any surge on oil prices is bound to impact the overall economy.

“There are assessments, there are speculations, there are words of wisdom and we are passing through very fluid times… I hope it settles down and the moderation comes to stay, so that this unreasonable concentration of wealth with the producers as against the consuming states is a situation which is changing and I do hope it changes for the future,” he said.

Published on March 27, 2015
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