The government plans to ramp up the supply of 5 kg LPG cylinders to help poor consumers many of whom currently buy them on the black market.
“Can every consumer afford to pay Rs 810 per cylinder of LPG? No. So, borrowing a common marketing practice from FMCG companies, which sell shampoo sachets at Rs 2 each, if I provide LPG in smaller cylinders, I can make cooking gas affordable for my entire 160 million consumer base,” petroleum & natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan told HT in an exclusive interview on Monday.
“That is what I would define as a reform measure that benefits the common man,” he said.
From January 1, under the Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG (DBTL) scheme, every consumer will first have to pay the full price of Rs 810 for each 14.2 kg LPG cylinder. The subsidy of Rs 393 per cylinder will then be credited directly to his/her bank account after purchase of every LPG cylinder (12 in a year). The net price: Rs 417. The smaller 5 kg cylinders will also be subsidised on a pro-rata basis.
Many poor buyers are not registered as consumers with public sector oil marketing companies that sell LPG, forcing them to buy smaller cylinders in the black market.
“I am directing state-owned oil companies to make available 5 kg subsidised LPG cylinders on an all-India basis. This will put an end to the black marketing and pilferage of 5 kg cylinders, which are currently available only for consumers in hilly and remote locations,” the minister added.