The subsidy cap on cheap cooking gas was raise from 9 cylinders to 12 cylinders per year and de-linked the subsidy on the fuel from the government pet project Aadhaar cards. This was serious blow to the economic reforms and the decision was pure political just before election season ahead.
This election oriented decision would burden the government by Rs 5000 Crore and lead to large scale diversion of cheap fuel for commercial use.
Earlier the government has pushed the implementation of the Aadhaar based subsidy to curb the misuse of the subsidy, Ignoring the fact the many of the customer do not have Aadhaar cards, the government was reluctant on the Aadhaar implementation. Even the dealers were struggling to adapt to the new system.
The same reluctant government today says "We don't want even a single consumer to suffer due to implementation problems. We will fine-tune the system,”
Really me minister? Was this reversal of the policy done keeping in mind the inconvenience of the people? How come this sudden realisation when people started to accept the change slowly.
There was huge resistance and concerns form the people, initially when the subsidy was limited to 9 cylinders and linking of the Aadhaar cards. But the government reluctant at that time to review this policy change. Even many Congress leaders complained that asking a customer to first buy gas cylinders at market price and then paying the subsidy into the person's bank account was complicated.
Today there was sudden shift of the government’s view on the policy, based on the directions of one single person, the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.
Speaking to the press the Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the decision to raise the cap on the supply of subsidised cylinders was taken at the direction of Rahul Gandhi.
Earlier the Petroleum ministry Moily announced that “the government would consider the increase of the subsidy cylinders” within hours of Rahul Gandhi’s statement in media.
Whereas the consumers voice and trouble was totally unheard and totally ignored by the same government from over a year when this policy to reduce the subsidy was started.
The launch of the scheme last year had rattled consumers, who complained that cooking gas dealers were selling cylinders in the black market while genuine customers were stranded with no fuel in their kitchens.
It is once again clear that these politicians really don’t cares for the common man.