Votes for Gas:UPA

Votes for Gas:UPA - Sakshi Post

The Election Commission at the centre strongly objected to the sanction of  three more subsidized cylinders by the UPA Govt

 Moily  declared that the number of subsidized cylinders will be raised to 9

• It is a bonanza given to Gujarat before the  assembly elections 

• The Election commission at the centre raised serious objection to it and held an urgent meeting to discuss the issue

• EC had taken up the declaration made by Moily as a suo moto case

• EC expressed anger that it was sanctioned two days before the  elections

• It gave a ruling that the increase in the number of cylinders should be stopped immediately

• EC demanded an explanation from Moily to reach before today’s morning

• But it brings vast relief to the consumers

The Govt under the leadership of Congress tried to entice the voters two days before the assembly elections but the Election Commission at the Centre put a break to its attempts. On Tuesday the Centre declared that the number of subsidized cylinders will be raised from 6 to 9 .  EC reacted quickly and seriously to the statement made by Veerappa Moily the minister for petroleum. EC objected strongly to this statement which will influence the voters two days before the first stage of assembly elections in Gujarat. EC demanded that the sanction of the UPA Govt should be withdrawn with immediate effect. It sent a memo to  Veerappa Moily to give an explanation  before Wednesday on the statement made by him. Elections to  the assembly in Gujarat will start on Thursday The plan of the UPA Govt to offer an attractive package to the voters in the form of raising the number of subsidized cylinders to 9 was effectively foiled by the EC

However this decision will bring  a lot of consolation to the  majority of the consumers all over the country. The Centre had made it clear that it is determined to implement the raise.

It will not have any impact on the Elections in Gujarat says Moily 

The Centre restricted the number of LPG cylinders to 6 but the minister for Petroleum indicated in a press meet on Tuesday that there are possibilities of the number being increased to 9 He said that Cabinet will very soon take a decision on this. He said no to a question asked by a journalist whether the Govt will wait for the elections in Gujarat to be over before taking action 

He said that though the decision was made known to the public now it will not influence the elections in the states. That particular state will be exempted from being a beneficiary

Fear of the political set back

The centre had imposed restrictions on the use of subsidized cylinders to 6 in a year on the 13th of September last year. If the consumers use more than that number they have to buy them in the open market At present a cylinder weighing 14.2 KG  is available for Rs 410.50 on subsidy but the price in the open market is Rs 931. There are only 44% of families using only 6 cylinders per year .Majority of the families use 9 to 12 cylinders per year. Hence there were immediate protests and demonstrations from all the sections in the country. The UPA Govt under the leadership of Congress was worried that the decision will lead to a political set back .   The Govt. hoped that raising the subsidized cylinders to 9 will raise its political fortunes as it is fighting the elections in Gujarat with its back to the wall

Stop implementing the decision immediately : Ruling by EC

The Election Commission has come to know of the decision of the Govt. to raise the number of subsidized cylinders through the media. As soon Veerappa Moily made the statement in the press meet it took it up on Suo moto basis and had an urgent meeting  under the chairmanship of the commissioner, V.S. Sampath to examine it. It sent two letters one to the Secretary Ministry of Petroleum and its Minister Veerappa Moily. The letter to the  ministry of Petroleum  stated that if there was any decision to raise the number of subsidized  cylinders it should be immediately withdrawn. In the letter to Veerappa Moily  EC strongly objected to the statement made by the minister and then said that the Minister should give an explanation by 11AM on Wednesday. EC also pointed out that assembly elections are due in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. and there is  an election code being implemented in both the states. In Gujarat the first stage of the elections will be on the  13 of this month and the next two stages will be on the17th.

The financial burden on the Govt. for 9cylinders per year will be to the tune of 9 thousand crores

Moily said earlier that the decision to restrict the number to 6 was taken by the cabinet committee on Political Affairs so it alone will have to take the decision to raise the number. This decision will be taken very soon he said .He also said that the issue was discussed twice with the Finance Minister Mr. Chidambaram . If the number was raised the Govt will have to raise 9 thousand crores and  the Govt is searching for ways and means to raise this amount

Raising the number of subsidized cylinders to 9 will impose a financial burden  of 3 thousand crores this year.

Raising the number of subsidized cylinders to 9 will put a burden of raising 3 thousand crores  on the Govt this year.When the number of subsidized cylinders was 6 the sale of Diesel, subsidized  gas and kerosin brought a financial loss of 1,63,000 crores to the public sector. In this amount The Finance Ministry has to provide 1,05,525 crores. But it appears as though the Ministry will not be able to find the means to raise this amount. The Ministry has to find 3 thousand crores in this financial year to provide for the raise in subsidized cylinders . The Gas agencies are suffering a loss of Rs 10.03 on  a litre of Diesel and Rs 30.93 on a litre of kerosene and Rs 520.50 on a single cylinder. In this year 2011-2012 the Govt. spent 83,500 crores in subsidies.


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