'Kerosene, LPG, diesel subsidy should be scrapped'
Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday attacked government's subsidy policy for diesel, kerosene and LPG.delhi Updated: May 26, 2012 00:18 IST
Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday attacked government's subsidy policy for diesel, kerosene and LPG. The minister has instead suggested a roadmap to phase out subsidies for people who do not need them.
“If we combine diesel, kerosene and LPG, the amount of subsidy provided is Rs 1,90,000 crore. While the budget we allocate for ministry of rural development, in comparison, is Rs 99,000 crore," Ramesh told reporters.
The remarks come at a time when there is a public outrage over the hike in petrol prices, announced on Wednesday.
"What kind of country is this? For development of rural areas Rs 99,000 crore and such heavy subsidy for diesel SUVs. For defence we spend Rs 1,00,080 crore but give much more as subsidy," the minister remarked.
"Subsidy should go to those families which are poor ... There are many lower and middle-income families, which use LPG, but there are many rich, including myself who get subsidy on LPG cylinders despite not needing it. There is a subsidy of Rs 503 on every LPG cylinder."
But justifying the hike Ramesh said taxes had to be imposed on petrol sale so that development work could be taken up.
‘User charges for drinking water’
Ramesh, also in charge of ministry of drinking water and sanitation, said the government intends to provide potable water to 90% of villages by 2022 and suggested that states could impose user charges on households in this direction.
Though he said the revenues generated should go to the village panchayats.
(With PTI inputs)