The central government’s decision to scrap cooking gas subsidy for those earning more than Rs 10 lakh annually will not have any major impact on Indore region, which includes 15 districts of Indore and Ujjain divisions, as only about 4,750 people here fall in this category, according to figures provided by the income tax department.
With effect from January 1, the LPG consumers with taxable income of more than Rs 10 lakh per annum will no longer get subsidy on gas cylinders. The directive would be effected “initially on a self-declaration basis”, a statement issued by the petroleum ministry had said.
“Roughly 4,750 taxpayers in Indore region fall in this category,” said Vinod Kumar Mathur, chief commissioner, income tax (Indore region).
Indore district alone has over 17 lakh LPG connections, so at 4,750 the number of people who will fall in the category is minuscule. While thousands of consumers, many belonging to the middle class, in MP have voluntarily given up their subsidy, many rich people have not done so.
“The problem with this directive is that while the income tax department can easily identify salaried class people with annual income of Rs 10 lakh and above, as most of them pay taxes under TDS (tax deduction at source), it will be hard to identify traders and industrialists falling in this group as most don’t file tax returns,” Kumar Nagesh, a chartered accountant, said.
The subsidy saved by the campaign endorsed by the Prime Minister is being utilised for giving new connections to the BPL families to provide them clean fuel and replace kerosene, coal and wood being burnt in kitchens, officials said.