LPG Subsidy scheme: Control shortcomings prior to implementation
John F Williams | 16 Dec 2011

There should be proper monitoring of the supply and the distribution of the LPG cylinders in the market. Presently an LPG Cylinder weighing 14kg costs about Rs 400 and in the process the oil companies are losing crores of rupees every day.

THE PETROLEUM Ministry is working on the modalities of a scheme to start with the rich class to shell out the subsidy amount voluntarily. To start with ministers, MPs, MLAs, bureaurocrats and senior officials of oil companies /PSUs, etc may be asked to contribute the difference amount. Later the business class may be also asked to give up the subsidy amount.

The rich / well-to-do class should take an imitative to voluntarily give up the levied subsidy on a cylinder. In fact as per the Minister, the LPG Supply is meant for the poor and needy. The modalities of the system are being worked out.

One suggestion is that the difference of the actual and the market price can be deposited by the business class and bureaocrats directly into the oil company’s account or they should start purchasing a 19 Kg blue cylinder meant for the commercial use. A lot of our population does not require the subsidy. Even diesel and kerosene are sold at discounted rate.

The Scheme thus will cut the deficit of crores of rupees. Now the main question is who is poor and how will we define him. To the best of my knowledge a family whose monthly income is less than Rs 1500 is entitled to a BPL card; while my personal experience says there is hardly any family in a village that deserves a BPL Card. ¾ members of each family are earning; they have bikes and even some of them possess some land.

These BPL Card –holders managed to get their application signed from the Sarpanch, etc and got a BPL Card from Food & Supplies Department, defeating the very purpose of the Card. All the restaurants / clubs etc are using domestic 14.2 Kg cylinder within the knowledge of the LPG Distributers which must be stopped on priority. The Cylinder supplier is selling a cylinder in black market, distributor cannot deny it nor the oil companies and Food & Supplies Department.