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Hike in subsidised LPG cylinder cap: Is it an election gimmick at economy's cost?
Finally Union Cabinet has cleared the proposal to increase subsidised LPG cap from 9 cylinders a year to 12 cylinders. This increment is done at the behest of the Congress VP Rahul Gandhi's indirect dictate. This has done in contradiction to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Virappa Moily’s earlier contentions.

Earlier while defending 6 cylinder limit PM had iterated that ‘Money doesn’t grow in trees’. Last September Moily too while defending government's no increase stand on the limit of 9 subsidised cylinders had said, “Who would pay the cost.”

However on Rahul Gandhi’s demand-cum-order, both have to put their foot in mouth. Now the PM might have found a money tree from where Moily plucked the money he required to increase the cap. An estimated Rs 5000 crore in subsidy would cost to exchequer due to such increase in the limit apart from the fact that LPG is a commodity that empties the foreign reserve.

First let's find whether this increase in cap in any way going to help poor? Indian poor rarely use LPG and whoever uses consumes a maximum of six cylinders in a year. If we count middle class families, then this consumption would be up to 9 cylinders at best. Then for whom this cap is increased?

Isn’t definitely for high middle class and above? But the fact is that this class can afford the cost. RBI governor Raghuram Rajan too shares the same opinion that providing subsidy to affording class is a bad economics.

Isn’t it an election dole by the Congress? Yes, it is. But the party must understand that such ‘Dolomonics’ do not work nowadays. In the just concluded assembly elections in Rajasthan, it totally. Thus, the Congress is doing a disservice to the nation by putting the nation’s economic condition at stake for just electoral interest! Apart from bad economy, it also creates opportunity for black marketing. The extra cylinders for the family who doesn’t require more than nine cylinders would subject to the black market.

If the Congress really wanted to help people to fight inflation, it could have provided subsidy to alternative energy sources such as solar cooker, electric cooker along with cheap/subsidized electricity etc so that at least it wouldn’t affect our foreign reserve?

Thus it’s imperative to be realised by the UPA government, aren’t they denting the already derailed economy of the country just to please the Prince’s dictate in a sycophantic way? Do they have right to hamper nation’s economy for simple reason to follow a vice-president of the ruling party’s order? And above all whether such ‘Dolomonics’ really work in an aware and asserting polity?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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