Kerala to offer 3 more subsidised LPG cylinders



Thiruvananthapuram: In line with party high command's move, the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala on Wednesday raised the number of subsidised LPG cylinders from the proposed six to nine for each BPL household in a year and also decided to withdraw the additional tax on hiked diesel price.

With the decision, price of diesel in the state would come down by Rs 1.14 per litre and the revenue loss due to the move would be about Rs 180 crore per year, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters here.

Below Poverty Line families would get cylinders upto a maxium of nine at subsidised rate. The number of cylinders used by the consumers during 2011-12 would be taken as the base for getting the additional cylinders, he said.

After estimating the commitment for the LPG cylinder for BPL, the government would examine whether it was possible to extend the subsidy to other income groups, Chandy said.

The government's intention was to cover the middle income group also under the purview of subsidy, he said.

These relief measures were part of Congress' policy and had the approval of Party high command, he said.

Taking a dig at the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Chandy said 'a party leader is withdrawing support to UPA government without initiating any relief as announced by the UDF government'.

However, Chandy said reforms should be undertaken with an eye on the people and should have a human face.

"I am in favour of changes and reforms, but it should be with human face and with an eye on people", he said.

Alluding to the relief measures announced, Chandy, who has earlier said the Centre could have avoided the diesel price hike and cap on subsidised LPG cylinders, said the state government cannot remain a silent spectator to the sufferings of the people.

“The UDF government is doing the maximum what a state government can do in the present circumstances,” he added.

PTI