Here’s some good news ahead of Diwali. The state government on Wednesday took an “in principle” decision to cap the total number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders up to nine a year albeit with a rider.
The state cabinet’s decision will benefit families having a maximum annual income of up to Rs1 lakh.
Currently, the Union government has decided to subsidise six cylinders a year and the state has now decided to pitch in with up to three more.
The catch is that the number of subsidised cylinders that the state will actually chip in will hinge on the number of cylinders you had used last year.
So, if a family used seven gas cylinders last year, the first six will be the Union-subsidised ones while the seventh will be from a state subsidised one. In addition to the seven (last year’s number), the state will chip in with one additional cylinder. The maximum that the final tally can go up to is nine – the capping figure decided by the state.
The decision was taken due to pressure by various political parties, including the ruling Democratic Front’s ally, Nationalist Congress Party.
The government claims that its decision will benefit more than 7 crore people across the state. Of the total 1.71crore gas connections in Maharashtra, 1.4crore are for families with annual income below Rs1 lakh who will be entitled to the additional supply of cylinders.
In financial terms, the decision translates into a yearly burden of nearly Rs1,400 crore on the state exchequer.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said that it’s an in-principle decision and a final call will be taken at a later stage. “Families intending to avail of the subsidy have to submit an undertaking mentioning their bank account number. The subsidy amount will be credited to the account,” said Chavan.