New Delhi: The oil ministry will raise the cap on supply of subsidized cooking gas (LPG) to nine cylinders per household in a year provided the finance ministry agrees to give an additional Rs.3,000 crore in 2012-13.
Oil minister M. Veerappa Moily on Thursday first met finance minister P. Chidambaram and then held a two-hour long brainstorming session with heads of the three PSU fuel retailers on the issue of raising the cap of 6 subsidised cylinders per household in a year.
A top ministry official said oil companies are already losing over Rs. 400 crore per day on selling diesel and cooking fuels below cost and bearing the cost of supplying additional subsidised cylinders will be impossible.
“We can raise the cap to 9 cylinders if the Finance Ministry agrees to give an additional subsidy. For the remaining part of the current fiscal, the additional subsidy would be over Rs. 3,000 crore and on an annualised basis it would be about Rs. 9,000 crore at current prices,” he said. The government had on 13 September decided to restrict the supply of subsidised LPG to 6 cylinders of 14.2-kg each to every household in a year. Any requirement beyond this had to be purchased at market rates which are more than double the subsidised price of Rs. 410.50 per cylinder in Delhi.
Only 44% of the households in the country consume 6 cylinders in a year and the rest of them have to purchase between 3 and 6 cylinder at the rate of Rs. 895.50 per 14.2-kg bottle in Delhi.
This has led to vociferous demands from all quarters to raise the cap on supply of subsidised cylinders.
Moily had last week told the Parliament that demands for raising the cap “were being looked into.”