New Delhi: In a relief to consumers, the Cabinet today lifted the restriction of supply of only one subsidised cooking gas LPG cylinder to a household in a month, saying consumers can avail their quota of 12 bottles at anytime of the year.
While raising quota of subsidised 14.2-kg LPG cylinders that a household can avail in a year to 12 from previous nine, the government had in February put a restriction of one cylinder per month.
"The Cabinet today came to a conclusion that this system is causing problem to the people. Sometimes people do not need one, sometimes during festive season demand is more. So there was a feeling that if someone has not taken one cylinder on a given month, then in remaining months he wont get it," Telecom and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here.
Briefing reporters about the decision taken by the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said the restriction has been done away with.
"Today at the Cabinet meeting, looking at the benefit of people, that condition has been done away with. Now they will get 12 cylinders at subsidised rate," he said. "This decision has been taken in order to remove the difficulty of people in India and consumers in particular."
After today's decision, consumers can avail of their quota of 12 cylinders at the rate of Rs 414 each in Delhi at anytime of the year. Any requirement beyond this will have to be purchased at market price of Rs 920 per 14.2-kg cylinder.
"Previous government on February 28, 2014 had decided that 12 subsidised cylinders will be given to people. But there was a clause that you have to take 1 cylinder every month," Prasad said.
Currently, the number of LPG cylinders a consumer can avail is 12. "Along with this, there is a restriction of one cylinder per month," an official statement said.
"The Government has now decided that while 12 subsidised LPG cylinders per annum will continue to be supplied to all domestic consumers, there will be no separate monthly restriction of one cylinder per month," it said.
This changes the earlier decision taken on February 28 and removes the restriction imposed that ordinarily one cylinder be given to each beneficiary every month.
"This decision of Government will alleviate difficulties faced by the genuine LPG consumers as the consumption of LPG cylinders is never exactly one per month. This change will meet their genuine requirements subject to their annual entitlement of subsidised cylinders," the statement added.
Cabinet deferred decision on ONGC, Coal India, and NHPC stake sale. This issue was discussed but no decision was taken as Finance minister Arun Jaitley was not present in the meeting today.
Cabinet today disscussed the proposal of divesting government stake in Coal India Ltd,ntpc and ongc amounting around 40000cr. The government planned to sell 10% of its stake in Coal India, 5% in ONGC and 11.36% in NHPC in the current financial year.Currently, the government owns 89.65% stake in Coal India, 68.94% in ONGC and 85.96% in NHPC. The sale of 10% stake in Coal India could fetch close to 300 billion rupees for the government at the current price levels.
The government had last year put off divestment in Coal India following opposition from trade unions. The company had later paid 165 bln rupees to the government in 2013-14 as interim dividend. From the sale of 5% stake in ONGC, the government can raise close to 170 billion rupees.
For the current financial year ending March, the government has set a target to raise 634 billion rupees from divestment, including 434 billion from selling stake in public sector companies and another 150 billion rupees from divestment in non-government companies, including Hindustan Zinc Ltd.