Saturday, 15 September 2012

Cap on subsidised LPG cylinders is a good move

Industrialist and Congress MP Naveen Jindal- 369
Vice-President Hamid Ansari- 170
Vice-President Hamid Ansari- 62
Former Chief Minister Mayavati- 91
Tihar jail favorite, ex telecom minister A Raja -47
Diseased Former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar- 48

These numbers are the subsidized LPG cylinders delivered to the house of the ministers when the subsidy burden on LPG is estimated to be about Rs.25,000 crore. Subsidy is nothing but tax payers money which has multiple developmental use. By supplying one subsidized cylinders every day to rich industrialist like Naveen Jindal, the oil companies did nothing but pushing some tax payers money to industrialists’ house.

There are many small shops were one can get LPG car filled with subsidized LPG. Many restaurants use subsidized LPG cylinders. Many marriage halls used domestic subsidized LPGs to cook food for thousands of people. The tax payer’s money went in drain. If this was curtailed we could have saved thousands of crore rupees and used it for development purpose.

Restricting subsidized LPG to 6 cylinders a year is a good move by Government of India. Six cylinders may be the minimum requirement for a small family of 4. On average one LPG connection per family got 8 cylinders a year last year. While getting 6 on subsidy a family can get another two cylinders by paying full amount. This will definitely curtail the misutilization of subsidized LPG.

For government, reducing the subsidy expenditure will help in maintaining lower fiscal deficit. Lower fiscal deficit lowers the external borrowing. In total, though it is viewed as a tough decision by the government will definitely help in country’s prosperity.

Government should take some more brave steps to pay subsidy amount directly to the beneficiary through their bank account. This UID- unique identification – Adhaar number based subsidy scheme is already under pilot run in Mysore. This will definitely give justice to both the tax payer’s money and subsidy.

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