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NO MONTHLY CAP ON LPG CYLINDER

After the government raised the annual quota of subsidised cooking gas, the Cabinet today allowed consumers to buy more than one subsidised cylinder in a month. The government had raised the annual cap on supply of cheaper LPG from nine to 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg each on January 30. It was inferred this meant one cylinder in a month. This led to protests as households do not uniformly use one cylinder in a month and some require refills earlier. The Oil Ministry yesterday moved a proposal for consideration of the Cabinet suggesting that consumers should have the freedom to book a refill after 21 days within the overall cap of 12 subsidised bottles in a year. Sources said the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed with the proposal. Raising the cap from nine to 12 cylinders will impose an additional financial burden of about Rs 3,801 crore per annum, they said. The government had initially capped the supply of subsidised LPG cylinders to six per household annually in September 2012 in a bid to cut its subsidy bill. The quota was raised to nine in January 2013. Consumers who exhaust their quota have to buy LPG at the market price of Rs 1,258 per cylinder. Subsidised LPG costs Rs 414 per cylinder in Delhi. The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) at its meeting on January 30 decided to raise the cap to 12. The CCPA also decided to scrap the decision to make Aadhaar cards mandatory to get subsidy on domestic LPG cylinders. However, the decision to delink Aadhaar cards from the subsidy has not been implemented due to certain clarifications that are awaited from the Cabinet, sources said. The notification for delinking Aadhaar from LPG subsidy is likely to be issued in a few days.

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