Lok Sabha: Oppn attacks government for LPG price hike

RSTV Bureau

Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi in Lok SabhaThe Opposition in the Lok Sabha took on the government over the price hike of non-subsidised LPG cylinders. Last week the Centre hiked the price of non-subsidised cooking gas cylinders by ₹ 86.

Leader of Congress in the Lower House, Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue during the zero hour and called the hike the highest ever.

“Its price in 2016 was Rs 467 and it has been hiked by six times since. It is Rs 737 today. It goes on to show how much burden this government is putting on the poor. The Modi government claims having given facilities to the poor but statistics tell a different picture,” Kharge said.

In 2012, the crude oil price in the international market was USD 122 per barrel and the LPG cylinder sold at Rs 345 while petrol and diesel cost Rs 58 and 37, respectively….In 2016, when the crude oil price was 33 USD, an LPG cylinder cost Rs 513 and petrol and diesel Rs 56 and Rs 46, respectively, Kharge explained.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar while responding to the issue, called it a “small hike” and accused Kharge of “misleading the House.” Kumar noted that the oil price in international market had gone up from 471 USD per metric tonne to 564 USD.

Rebutting the opposition’s charge, Kumar said over 1.1 crore consumers had voluntarily given up their LPG subsidies on the Prime Minister’s “appeal” and the rest of the total 91.7 crore consumers have not been affected by the hike.

“There has been no cut in subsidy to the poor,” he said, adding the government is giving subsidy of Rs 13127 crore.

Soon, Congress and the Trinamool Congress members staged a walk-out, protesting the government’s stand on the issue.

The Opposition accused the government of burdening the poor.

Kharge went on to say that Modi government’s tenure has been marked by a rise in prices of essential items.

Congress’ KC Venugopal accused the government of cheating over 1 crore people who had reportedly given up their LPG subsidy.

Meanwhile, BJD asked the government to agree to a debate on the issue under Rule 193, which does not allow voting.

(With inputs from PTI)