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State sits on additional LPG subsidy decision

Officials indicated that the model code of conduct for the gram panchayat elections next week was one of the reasons for the delay.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: April 17, 2014 3:12:30 pm

Close to a month since the Union government decided limit subsidised LPG cylinders for each households to six a year,the Maharashtra cabinet has failed to arrive at a decision on the additional subsidized cylinders for citizens announced for Congress-ruled states.

Officials indicated that the model code of conduct for the gram panchayat elections next week was one of the reasons for the delay.

After widespread protests senior Congress leadership had suggested governments of Congress-ruled states to extend additional subsidy to give the common man some relief. While the Haryana government has decided to give three additional cylinders,the Maharashtra cabinet is yet to take a decision on the number of additonal cylinders,or the target beneficiaries.

CM Prithviraj Chavan had expressed confidence about the decision coming in today’s Cabinet meet after calculating the burden the government has to bear,but a dispute between senior leaders in the cabinet has prolonged the decision. Calculations have been made about the financial burden if three cylinders are given to only BPL beneficiaries or both BPL and APL categories.

Within the NCP,there appeared to be a difference of opinion on the number of additional cylinders to be offered.

NCP MP Supriya Sule on Wednesday met the CM and sought three additional cylinders for all families across the board.

Days after the announcement of additional subsidy,NCP leaders had demanded that the state government offer six additional subsidised cylinders and that the size and income of the family should be taken into account while deciding the beneficiaries.

Congress leaders have on the other hand demanded three additional subsidised cylinders (9 a year) to all families.

“We have asked the government to decide at the earliest. If there are differences,the CM can take a decision beneficial to all. They have to do the needful at the earliest,” said NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik. Even as the subsidy debate rages,the Mahanagar Gas Limited on Wednesday increased price of CNG by Rs 0.85 per kg in Mumbai,translating into an overall increase of 2.57%. The hike will be come into effect from Wednesday midnight. Revised rates for CNG,inclusive of octroi and cess will be Rs 33.95 per kg in Mumbai,Rs 34.12 in Thane,Rs 34.37 in Mira-Bhayander,Rs 34.29 in Navi Mumbai and Rs 34.97 in Bhiwandi.

The contentious issue of VAT on sale of property between 2006-10 was reportedly discussed at the meet. Builders are demanding that VAT be reduced from five to one per cent. “No decision has been taken,but we are considering the situation. We could consider a review,” said a senior minister.

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