The idea is to complete the distribution by December

The State government has planned to begin distribution of six lakh free liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections with double-burner gas stoves next month.

The list of beneficiaries is ready and the contract for manufacturing the stoves has been settled, according to a senior official. The idea is to complete the distribution by December.

Rs. 140 crore earmarked

The government has earmarked Rs.140 crore for the scheme this year.

Two months ago, Union Minister for Petroleum Murli Deora had called on Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and handed over the allotment order of gas connections for the year 2010-2011.

Since 2008-2009, the government is giving six lakh connections annually. For 2009-2010, the progress in the distribution of connections has been tardy, essentially because of the delay in the issue of allotment order by the Union government. The official says the allotment order for the previous year came only in March.

As on June, about 2.6 lakh connections were distributed against the overall target of six lakhs. The authorities are planning to complete the distribution in a month.

In 2006-2007, three lakh free gas connections were issued at a cost of Rs.60 crore; in 2007-2008, eight lakh connections at Rs.166.47 crore and in 2008-2009 six lakh connections at Rs.154.98 crore were issued. In 2009-2010, the outlay was Rs.140 crore.

The official also says the scheme of distributing 10 condiments and spices in packets at a rate of Rs.25 per package will commence shortly.

Till now, the condiments were given at a unit rate of Rs.50.