Taking a queue from West Bengal and Haryana, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday decided to spare the Capital's poor the rise in prices of cooking gas cylinders.
An LPG cylinder will now cost Rs40 less for those belonging to the below-poverty-line (BPL) category and those families covered by the centre's Antodaya scheme, receiving 25 kg of foodgrain per month from the state. They will now get LPG cylinders for Rs355.35 a piece.
However, consumers in the national capital who are not in the BPL category and Antyodaya scheme will have to shell out Rs395.45 for an LPG cylinder after the latest hike.
What can be of some relief is a marginal cut in the price of diesel, which will now be 37 paise cheaper in Delhi. Now, a litre of diesel will cost Rs40.75.
"The reduction is aimed at providing relief to the economically weaker sections of society. Around 4.5 lakh poor consumers will benefit from this," Delhi chief minister Dikshit told reporters after a Cabinet meeting late on Monday.
However, members of the association of LPG dealers said they were not clear how to procure the subsidy from the government. An Empowered Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had last Friday raised the price of diesel by Rs3 per litre, cooking gas by Rs50 per cylinder and kerosene by Rs2 per litre. It also slashed customs and excise duties on petroleum products.
Facing flak for the hikes across the country, Congress had on Saturday urged all the chief ministers of states ruled by the party to rescue consumers, especially the poor, from the hike. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was the first to reduce the price by withdrawing sales tax on LPG cylinder followed Haryana's Bhupinder Singh Hooda reducing a 5% VAT.