A Congress member on Tuesday expressed concern in the Lok Sabha over the cap on supply of domestic LPG cylinders and demanded a rethink on the issue. Getting support across party lines, he spoke of the “untold miseries” facing the common man in the wake of the decision.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Congress member Jagdambika Pal said the move had led to a flourishing black market and demanded that the restriction on cylinders be raised from six to at least 12.
He said the cap has played havoc as families across the country were forced to buy cylinders in the black market, paying much above the Rs. 950 per cyclinder fixed by the government.
The problem was more acute in hilly States such as Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, where families needed more fuel to keep warm during the winters, he said.
Mr. Pal’s plea found instant support with thumping of desks from the treasury benches as well as the Opposition members, some of whom protested over the government decision by chanting ‘shame, shame’
He said the decision has also led to growing instances of gas companies harassing customers as the provision of one connection for a single address created problems for divided families and tenants living in the same house.
The cap is “painful for the entire nation”, Mr. Pal said, evoking shouts from BJP benches that “Congress does not understand the nation’s pain“.
Maintaining that the decision was causing immense hardship to the people, the Congress member urged the government to direct oil companies to review the decision and increase availability of LPG cylinders.
When opposition members started protesting against the move, Francisco Sardinha, who was in the Chair, remarked that they should be happy as Mr. Pal was raising their issue.