Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked banks and industrial houses to nudge their employees to give up subsidised LPG, saying if one crore people surrender it, an equal number of poor families would get the benefit of this clean energy. Modi had recently launched ‘Give It Up’ campaign, asking well-off people to surrender their LPG subsidy. Addressing the 80th anniversary of the Reserve Bank here, he said so far about two lakh consumers have joined the initiative.
There are about 15.3 crore LPG consumers in the country. “I believe that our banks should take all their employees in confidence. Every bank should resolve that their employees would give up the subsidy. All industrial houses should decide that their employees would give up subsidy,” Modi said. The Prime Minister said that the government’s intention behind the campaign is not to add to its coffers by saving on subsidy bill, but to provide LPG cylinders, a clean energy, to poor households who use firewood for cooking.
“Give up voluntarily. If one crore people give up this gas cylinder subsidy… one crore poor families who burn firewood, which leads to deforestation, carbon emission (and) their children grow up in smoke… The cylinder (subsidy) you give up should reach to the house of that poor,” he said. Since the government started the new scheme of direct benefit transfer (DBT) for cooking gas, several persons opted out of the subsidy scheme.
Modi also said that DBT has brought transparency in cooking gas subsidy which has also checked leakages in the government support programme. Under the DBT, the subsidy amount is directly credited into the bank accounts of consumers even as they pay full amount for LPG cylinder at the time of purchase. The government has so far saved Rs 8,000 crore due to subsidy transfer through DBT.
At present, consumers are entitled to 12 refills of 14.2-kg cylinders or 34 refills of five-kg bottles in a year at subsidised rates. Public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) have given an option to existing LPG consumers to convert their current domestic LPG connection into a non-subsidised domestic connection. This can be done by submitting a written request to the distributor or electronically via www.MyLPG.in.
In 2015-16 Budget estimates, petroleum subsidy has been halved to Rs 30,000 crore, from estimated Rs 60,270 crore, in the current fiscal. Of Rs 30,000 crore for next fiscal, Rs 22,000 crore has been earmarked for LPG subsidy and the rest is for kerosene.