BJP Reduces cylinder price before state election 2023. A gift or Vote bank ?

On 29th August 2023, an approval was granted by the Union Cabinet to reduce the cost of an LPG cylinder by ₹200. This step was taken considering the Assembly elections in five states and the Lok Sabha election in the year 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed this action as a “Raksha Bandhan gift” for all the women of the country. The decision is said to be implemented from Wednesday. While the Opposition criticized the government by addressing the high cooking gas prices as a simple election tactic, the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry praised the PM Narendra Modi’s decision as a bold move.

Beneficiaries under the Prime Minister’s Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) will continue to receive ₹1200 per cylinder in their bank accounts as an additional subsidy. The Cabinet endorsed an extension of ₹ 75 lakh for Ujjwala connections, resulting in a total of 10.35 crore recipients under the PMUY scheme.

The General Secretary of the Congress party Jairam Ramesh, blamed that the sudden reduction of cooking gas price is the result of the BJP’s loss in Karnataka and the success of two meetings held by the INDIA (a coalition of Opposition parties). Ramesh highlighted that the additional subsidies on LPG cylinders had already been declared by the Congress-led governments in Karnataka and Rajasthan.

Sitaram Yechury, the general secretary of Communist Party of India (M) said that, “If the government stopped collecting cess and surcharges on petroleum products, the cylinder’s cost could be significantly lesser even without giving any subsidy”.

The Ministry said that this decision will provide relief to households all over the nation from August 30, 2023, “the price of a 14.2 kg LPG cylinder will be reduced by ₹3200 in all markets across the nation. As detailed in a Ministry release, this step will decrease the cost of a 14.2 kg cylinder from ₹1,103 per cylinder to a more affordable price of ₹903 per cylinder. Furthermore, it was noted by the Ministry that this reduction is added along with the PMUY households subsidy of ₹2200 per cylinder, and the revised price in Delhi will come to ₹703 per cylinder.”

More than 31 crore domestic LPG consumers are there in the country, which includes 9.6 crore beneficiaries of Ujjwala scheme aligned with the ongoing initiatives of the government to reduce the financial burdens for citizens and improve household welfare. The decrease in LPG prices spotlights the government’s dedication in prioritizing the well-being of its citizens and reasonable access to essential commodities, the Ministry noted.

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