Thiruvananthapuram: Bringing relief to people reeling under pressure of inflation, the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala has decided to forgo VAT on the subsidy component on LPG for domestic consumers.
This measure, announced by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at a press meet, will reduce LPG price by about Rs 40 per cylinder, benefitting thousands of domestic conusmers.
A note issued at the press meet said the subsidy per LPG cylinder now stood at Rs 856. However, the customer gets only Rs 814 after deducting a five per cent VAT on the subsidy.
The government has decided not to realise this tax, forgoing an annual revenue of Rs 247 crore.
Holding that the state government had been persistently opposed to frequent increase in LPG prices, Chandy came down heavily on CPI(M) which last week launched an agitation over the issue blaming Congress-led governments in the state and at the Centre.
He ridiculed CPI(M) leaders` claim that they had called off the stir after bringing the Centre under pressure to increase the number of LPG cylinders to domestic consumers to 12 per year.
"We (Congress) have been pressing the Centre for increasing the LPG cylinders... Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also supported this demand. Now the CPI(M) is claiming that this happened due to their agitation. People know what actually happened," he said.
This agitation was one of the latest in a series of struggles of CPI(M) that failed to take off for want of people`s support, he said.