Consumers in MP not willing to give up subsidised LPG: Distributors

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  • Updated: Mar 31, 2015 17:17 IST

INDORE: It has been a year since the MP's oil distribution companies launched a campaign asking the well-off people in the country to volunteer for non-subsidised cooking gas but it seems the appeal has fallen on deaf ears.

The data made available by gas distributors revealed that consumers who have opted for non-subsidised LPG cylinders in MP account for only 1 per cent of the total consumers who did the same across the country.

According to the latest figures, only 3,503 consumers in the state, out of 3.04 lakh country-wide, have opted for non-subsidised LPG cylinders.

Currently, the state has about 1.3 crore active connection holders as against 15.3 crore in the country.

The oil marketing companies - HP, Bharat Gas and Indane- have introduced a number of ways to request their affluent customers to surrender their subsidy component.

From sending text messages to issuing appeals on websites, the companies have been pushing its customers but the response has been dismal.

The latest figures of the state reveal that 1,988 customers of Indane have opted out of subsidy as against 1.84 lakh in the country. The corresponding figures for HP Gas are 1,115 as against 82,385 in the country and that for Bharat Gas it is 400 in comparison to a country-wide number of 37,252.

Currently, a subsidised LPG cylinder in Indore costs Rs 455 as against the market price of Rs 683. The gap was further narrowed down from `570 to `228 in August 2014 due to a dip in global prices.

Officials in the oil distribution companies said that they have received many calls from customers seeking more clarity on the issue.

"The names of people who have opted for non-subsidised LPG connections have been uploaded on the website. We expect the number to rise as the price gap has narrowed down," an official of Bharat Gas said.

Three days ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while inaugurating a global energy summit in Delhi, had appealed to the well-off people of the country to opt for non-sunsidised LPG cylinders.

According to the official figures, the government is saving more than Rs 180 crores annually after 3.04 lakh people opted for non-subsidised cooking fuel.

In 2013-14, the Centre had provided Rs 46,000 crore towards LPG subsidy across the country.

While according to the officials of petroleum and natural gas ministry the government expects about one million consumers in the country to surrender their subsidies, Delhi leads the list with 14.35 per cent non-subsidised LPG consumers.

Meanwhile, three BJP ministers surrendered their subsidized LPG connections on Monday. State food minister Kunwar Vijay Shah, general administration minister Lal Singh Arya, minister of state for education Deepak Joshi surrendered their subsidized LPG connections.

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