A day after Election Commission rap on Centre's move to increase the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders from six to nine, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Wednesday said the government has not yet taken any decision on raising the cap.
"If the proposals had been concretised and it was to be announced or decision was to be taken... I would have definitely written to Election Commission of India," Moily told media here.
"Not that I would like to do anything for political gain behind the back of Election Commission. That is not our intention. We are very clear about it. We are very transparent and objective about it," he added.
Moily further said the government had consistently maintained that the decision to cap supply of subsidised cooking gas to six cylinders per household in a year is under review following widespread demands and he had reiterated the same position in reply to media queries on the sidelines of a CII function in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The Election Commission had taken a strong exception to Moily's statements ahead of the elections in Gujarat, that the cap would be increased to nine cylinders and asked the government to stop it immediately and demanded an answer from Moily.
Moily on Tuesday said that the government is considering raising the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders from six to nine in a year. He, however, said that the Union Cabinet would take a final decision in this regard.
"The capping must be done by the Cabinet, " he said.
When asked whether he had spoken to Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in this regard, Dr. Moily said: "I had two rounds of discussion with him. And now we are working on that."
To a poser on whether the oil marketing companies would now be getting the direct compensation for the extra LPG burden, he said: "That we are working out; we are working out certain formula to neutralize the loss."
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier lashed out at the Congress Party on the move, saying it was a desperate attempt on part of the ruling party at the Centre to woo the voters ahead of the Gujarat assembly polls.
BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said 'this is a political stunt of the Congress Party, which is desperate and has no core issues in its kitty to forward before the people of the country'.
"This is a despicable attempt of the Congress Party to loot the country, for which the people would never forgive their misdeeds, and this attempt of the Congress Party to woo the voters ahead of the Gujarat assembly polls has equally violated the election code of conduct as in the case of the cash transfer scheme," he added. (ANI)