Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said it is a misconception that the Centre was trying to do away with subsidy on different schemes, adding that maximum grant for the purpose has been provided by the NDA government.
“Sometimes people try to create a misconception that government will end subsidy…Today I want to tell you that we are giving more grant than what was being given by earlier governments,” he said.
Singh was speaking after distributing free LPG connections to poor women under the “Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana” here.
“In the current financial year, central government will give a subsidy of over Rs 2,50,000 crore but there is a move to create misconception among the people,” he alleged.
Singh said, “Our government is of the view that cooking gas should be supplied straight to houses through pipeline instead of cylinders and we are happy that oil companies have started work in this direction.”
“Gas from Paradeep in Odisha will reach Lucknow via West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand…gas connections will be piped like water and power lines,” he said.
Lauding Indian Oil Corporation’s efforts in implementing the scheme, Singh said the Centre will bear the burden to the tune of Rs 8,000 crore for providing free LPG connections to five crore BPL (below poverty line) families over the next three years.
Meanwhile, Kaushal Kishore, a BJP MP from Mohanlalganj, alleged that gas agencies were harming the aims of ‘Ujjwala’ scheme by seeking Rs 1,600 from every connection seeker. They were also not providing benefit of instalments meant for beneficiaries.
State convenor of Indian Oil Corporation Avinash Verma said more than three lakh connections have been given in Uttar Pradesh under the scheme which was launched in Ballia on May 1.
By July-end this figure will go up to 10 lakh, he added.
On the occasion, gas connections were provided to 150 poor women of which 11 were handed over by the union minister.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had, in his Budget speech in February, announced a provision of Rs. 2,000 crore this financial year to provide LPG connections to 1.5 crore women from BPL households.
The new users will not have to pay the security deposit, while the administrative costs of Rs 1,600, cost of pressure regulator booklet and safety-hose will be borne by the government.