Centre may do away with LPG subsidy for rich: Jaitley
NEW DELHI: Government is considering doing away with
the LPG subsidy for the well-off, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.
“The next important decision India will have to take is whether people like
me... (are) entitled to get our LPG subsidy,” he said at the HT Leadership
“I think the sooner we are able to take these
decisions as to who is entitled to these subsidies, of course some people would
be, the better it would be for our system. These decisions are all on our
agenda,” he added.
Currently, 12 cylinders are available to consumers at
a subsidised rate of Rs 414 each (in Delhi). Any requirement beyond this will
have to be purchased at the market price of Rs 880 per 14.2-kg cylinder.
Jaitley said, “Once political leadership, particularly
the man on the top, has decisiveness, the most complicated of the decisions
will also become simple. One does not have to wait for years to decide on coal
blocks or what to do with spectrum or natural resources, or with diesel pricing
or with gas pricing.”
Some of these decisions had been complicated over the
years, but the new government wasted no time and simply took a call on them he
said, adding that “I think that's the agenda we continue to follow”.
Jaitley further said that India is at a crucial stage “where
we must not exhaust our patience” as global investors are looking at the
country with renewed interest.
After coming to power, the Narendra Modi-led
government deregulated diesel prices and linked them to the market rate.
Earlier, the government used to provide subsidy on diesel.
Jaitley said he was “almost ready” with the proposal
on the Goods and Services Tax and was confident that the Constitution Amendment
Bill on it would be introduced in the next Parliament session starting Monday.
Referring to long-pending insurance bill, he said “we
are on the verge” of opening the sector a little more. The Bill proposes to
increase foreign direct investment limit in the insurance sector to 49 per cent
from the current 26 per cent.