Three-cylinder ‘Diwali bonus’

State expected to incur an additional subsidy burden of about Rs 1,200 cr/i>

The Maharashtra government's announcement of three additional cylinders for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families is yet to roll out, pending clear instructions on its implementation.

Pune district collector Vikas Deshmukh said he has no clear directions on the implementation. "I have received no directions from the state government regarding implementation of the same,'' he said.

LPG agencies too have no clues.

LPG dealers' state representative Usha Poonawalla said, "Even as the government has announced the cap from six to nine, we have received no instructions. How are we to follow it?''

The issue has also not been raised in the winter session that began on Monday. "The state government just announced the sop, not the way to implement it,'' said a dealer.

He said it would be practically impossible to implement it as there is a huge number of beneficiaries and the agencies are already overburdened with formalities to be carried out under the six-cylinder cap scheme.

The state cabinet had cleared the decision to give the extra cylinders to families that have an annual income less than Rs 1 lakh a year. The state government was expected to incur an additional subsidy burden of about Rs 1,200 crore.

"I think the state is waiting for the Centre's reaction before taking further action. They have announced it with no clear directive to the administration, agencies and oil companies. It seems practically difficult to implement,'' said another dealer.

The agencies also pointed out that a rider likely to come in wherein a cap will be retained for usage will not be to their advantage.

The government had in September capped subsidised LPG to six cylinders per household in a year. Customers were allowed three subsidised cylinders upto March 2013 and six from the next financial year. The extra three cylinders for BPL families was announced ahead of Diwali.

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