Special Correspondent

‘Subsidy will continue’

HYDERABAD: Civil Supplies Minister J. Krishna Rao has called “untrue and baseless”, the reports that the existing subsidy of Rs. 25 allowed on a LPG refill cylinder by the State government had been stopped, and that the Centre had withheld its monthly rice quota to above-poverty line (APL) families in the State.

Speaking to reporters after discussions with Chief Minister K. Rosaiah here on Tuesday, the Minister said the subsidy would continue as now at any cost. He made it clear that there were no outstanding amounts due to the oil/gas companies from the State government towards the Rs. 25 subsidy and appealed to the households not to panic over the reports.

Asked about allocation of only Rs. 70 crore in the budget towards this subsidy as against a requirement of Rs. 156-crore, he said regular releases would be ensured through “re-appropriation and adjustment” for which there was a provision in the budget. He denied that the gas companies rejected plea to sanction 10 lakh more LPG connections to the State this year. The issue was availability of cylinders and not gas, he added.

Mr. Krishna Rao said the Union Government released rice to the State for supply to above-poverty line families for Rs. 8-a-kg in instalments up to September.

A request made by the State government to make the releases for the period from October to March (2010) was being processed by the Centre, he added, rejecting the reports that the Centre had stopped the quota.

Mr. Krishna Rao said the prices of rice, including fine variety, and red-gram were expected to fall in the State shortly as new crop began to arrive in.