The Congress party on Wednesday directed its state governments to raise the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders per household from the proposed six to nine annually.
Talking to reporters, AICC General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said, "All eleven Congress-ruled states have been told to increase supply of subsidised cylinders from 6 to 9 per household annually."
The announcement from the Congress spokesperson came a day after Union Food Minister KV Thomas wrote a letter to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh saying that the Centre's move to cap the number of subsidised LPG cylinders at six per household a year "will not go well" with the middle class and suggested a slab system with a marginal hike in price for extra cylinders.
Union Minister Harish Rawat also said," If the number (of subsidised cylinders per household) could have been increased from six and more cylinders would have been made available at the subsidised rate, it would have been better."
Congress leader and former Union Minister Virbhadra Singh yesterday urged party president Sonia Gandhi to review the decisions to hike the price of diesel by Rs5 a litre and the cap on supply of subsidised domestic LPG cylinders.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had already increased the number of subsidised LPG cylinders for BPL families from six to nine.
The government had last week raised the diesel price by a steep Rs 5 per litre and capped the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinder to six per household a year, decisions that will rake in an additional Rs 20,300 crore to the oil companies.
Faced with the task of bringing down the ballooning oil subsidy, the governemnt for the first time had introduced a cap on supply of LPG cylinders of 14.2 kg that will make the consumers pay market price for cylinders beyond six.