New Delhi: The union cabinet hiked the subsidy on LPG cylinders from six to nine on Thursday, in a move interpreted by many as a populist gesture by the UPA government which had earlier reduced the subsidy angering consumers at large.
The government raised the cap from six cylinders to 9 in a year and the decision approved in a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA).
Consumers will get a quota of five subsidised cylinders between September 2012 and March 2013 and from April 1, 2013, they will be entitled to nine cylinders per annum. There will be no change in LPG and kerosene rates, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily was quoted as saying after the meeting on Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA).
According to media reports, Moily also ruled out any revision in fuel prices as of now. He said that the government did not take any decision on raising the prices of diesel, LPG cylinders and kerosene as recommended by the Oil Ministry.
However, he said that oil companies have been authorised to make diesel price corrections from time to time. This in effect translates into a partial deregulation of diesel prices.
The government had also written to the Election Commission seeking permission to effect the hike in subsidy in view of polls coming up in three states and populist moves can be seen as violation of model code of conduct. The Election Commission, in its response, has granted no objection to the government's proposal for raising cap on LPG gas quota.