"We cannot afford fuel subsidy in long run. I think there is clear understanding that fossil fuel subsidies must go," Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram said at an event here.
Mayaram's comment assumes significance as it comes days after the government raised the supply quota of cheaper cooking gas cylinders to 12 per year from nine.
The increased supply, being implemented on Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi's directive, would raise the government's subsidy burden by around Rs 5,000 crore.
Mayaram also said: "If business model is around only subsidies then business model will fail...No country can sustain subsidy in perpetuity for anything."
India is the fourth largest consumer of energy and this is when a very large number of Indians do not have access to energy, he said.