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Govt says will raise LPG cap; EC fumes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 11
Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily’s statement on the eve of Gujarat Assembly poll that cap on LPG cylinders would be raised from six to nine annually has drawn the ire of the Election Commission.

Cabinet nod shortly, says Moily

Moily said the decision to raise the cap will be taken by the Cabinet "very shortly". “I think the LPG cap is likely to go up definitely from six (cylinders) to 9 (cylinders),” the Petroleum Minister told reporters in New Delhi.

The commission today took strong exception to the reported statements by Moily. The commission, in a letter sent to Moily tonight said: “(It) has taken strong exception to your aforesaid announcement when the first phase of polling in the State of Gujarat is only two days away. The commission has desired that you explain your above action at this juncture.”

Moily has been asked by the ECI that his explanation on the matter should reach the commission by 11 am on December 12. The commission has effectively put a stop on the proposal till the elections are on saying “it has already directed the Secretary, Petroleum, to stop forthwith any move to raise the cap on the supply of subsidised gas cylinders”.

The ECI reminded Moily that the election process to the legislative assemblies of the States of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh was currently on and the model code of conduct was in operation.

Moily’s statement signals government’s intent to raise the cap following strong demand from various quarters, including the Congress. However, it will be seen as a setback to the recent attempts by the government to cut the fiscal deficit and reduce subsidies.





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