More than 1.14 lakh consumers in Madhya Pradesh have opted out of cooking gas subsidy so far, in response to the ‘Give It Up’ campaign launched by union government and endorsed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Friday, actor Amitabh Bachchan became the latest celebrity to give up the subsidy.
Figures on the websites of oil marketing companies show that 1,14,680 consumers in Madhya Pradesh have volunteered to buy cylinders at market price as against 30 lakh consumers across the country.
At present, a subsidised LPG cylinder costs Rs 457 in Indore, as against the market price of Rs 678. MP has about 1.3 crore active connection holders as against 15.3 crore in the country.
Oil marketing companies have been sending text messages to customers, asking them to give up their subsidy component to reduce the burden of the government. LPG subsidy payout from Union Budget in 2014-15 was Rs 40,591 crore as against a dole of Rs 52,231 crore in 2013-14.
According to latest figures, 37,001 customers of Indane have opted out of subsidy in MP. The corresponding figures for HP Gas and Bharat Gas are 52,493 and 25,176 respectively.
Since the launch of the campaign, officials have been receiving calls from customers seeking clarity on the issue.
“The names of people who have opted out of subsidy in LPG connection 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.
Navin Khanwalkar, a city-based businessman who has opted out of the scheme said, “I think people who can afford to buy non-subsidized LPG cylinders should do so and help lessen the subsidy burden on the government.”
Number of customers who have opted out in MP
HP Gas: 52,493
Bharat Gas: 25,176