Subsidy needs to be given to rural poor on LPG, power: PM
New Delhi: Amid the controversy over cap on subsidised LPG cylinders, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday said the government recognises that some subsidy has to be given for rural poor for cooking gas and electricity as part of its endeavour to give access to energy to all.
He talked about target subsidy "as best as possible" while stating that the government was planning to transfer subsidy amount directly to bank accounts of bonafide beneficiaries.
"We aim to provide every Indian household with clean cooking fuel. This is a huge task but it is not unattainable. It is something we must do on priority," Singh said inaugurating the International Seminar on Energy Access here.
He noted that most urban households cook with LPG and government has tried to introduce it in rural areas also.
"We recognize that the rural poor will need some subsidy to afford electricity and LPG. The issue is to target the subsidy as best as possible," Singh said.
He said the government had launched a pilot scheme in Mysore district of Karnataka where 27,000 deliveries of subsidized cylinders were made by delivery boys after successful biometric authentication of any family member present at home using the unique identification number.
"In the next phase it is planned to transfer the subsidy amount directly to the bank accounts of bona fide beneficiaries," Singh said.
His comments came against the backdrop of raging controversy over the government's decision to cap subsidised LPG cylinders at six per year.
"Around 12 percent of around 190 million rural households use LPG to meet their cooking energy needs. Giving all the 240 million households in the country an entitlement of six LPG cylinders per year will require only around 25 million tonnes of LPG. This should be manageable for our country," Singh said.
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