JK Govt shares people’s concern on LPG price hike: Rather


Srinagar, October 03 (Scoop News) -    Jammu and Kashmir Assembly today adopted a resolution to “impress upon the central government to take a sympathetic view of the situation presently being faced by the people of the state on account of withdrawing subsidy and imposition of cap on LPG cylinder”. It was also decided a delegation of the House will be send to Union capital in this connection.

Earlier in the morning, the legislators cutting across their party affiliations requested the Speaker,  Mohammad Akbar Lone to adjourn today’s Question Hour and allow a discussion on the issue of price hike in LPG which has been a cause of serious concern and has put the common men to great hardhsips.

As many as nineteen members took part in the discussion and expressed their views on the subject.

The Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs,  Abdul Rahim Rather while replying the discussion said that the state government is well abreast with the situation arisen due to hike in diesel prices and cap on LPG cylinders prices and the matter has been already taken up with the Central government.  Rather said government equally shares the concern of the people on account of Centre’s decision about 6 cylinders a year cap on subsidized domestic gas and the issue will be once again taken up with the Centre for providing some relief to the state in view of its difficult geographical conditions. 

 Rather said that the state government has no role in increasing the prices of LPG and diesel and it is fully a Centre’s domain. He said that the concern expressed by the members about difficulties faced by the common people due to this price hike is genuine and the state government has already taken cognizance of the matter. He said that the state government has already exempted fully LPG from payment of VAT, which was in its own hands. Moreover, the matter for seeking exemption package to the state on account of cap on LPG cylinders and price hike has already been taken up with the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Gas.

 Rather said that the hike in LPG has been decided in the Standing Committee Meeting of Parliamentary Affairs chaired by Prime Minister on September 13, 2012 and it was represented by all political parties of the country.

 Rather said that depreciation in the value of Rupee in the international market coupled with under-recovery amount of Rs. one lakh eighty seven thousand one hundred twenty seven crore of oil companies at national level has necessitated the Centre to hike the prices of LPG and diesel in the country. The hike in diesel has resulted in recovery of Rs. 15000 crore adding the despite these two fiscal reforms taken by the Centre, there are rupees one lakh sixty seven thousand crore still under recovery.

 Rather said that as per the data available with various LPG companies functioning in the state, about 15 lakh people of the state have LPG connections adding that the hike in LPG will not affect 44% of this population as they do not utilize more than 6 LPG cylinders a year. However, he said unsubsidized LPG will be always available to the consumers without any difficulty at the market rate fixed by oil companies from time to time.

 Rather said, keeping in view these facts, the allegations of some members that the state government has not done anything to address the issue, are unfounded and baseless adding that members should not instigate people on the basis of distorted facts.

He also directed the gas companies, functioning in the state, to ensure that those having valid documents are not put to any inconvenience or hardships on account of availability of LPG.