Plea to consider Deepam households in Telangana, AP for LPG subsidy

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Leaders of LPG distributors associations from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh during their meeting with Union Minister G.Kishan Reddy.

Leaders of LPG distributors associations from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh during their meeting with Union Minister G.Kishan Reddy. , Photo Credit: Arrangement

Nearly 85 lakh households across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections issued under the Deepam scheme are not getting the subsidy of ₹200 per cylinder like the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) beneficiaries.

They are also economically weak like the PMUY beneficiaries and yet deprived of the subsidy, said Telangana LPG Distributors Association president K.Jagan Mohan Reddy, who was part of the delegation of LPG leaders from the two States that met Union Minister G.Kishan Reddy and raised the anomaly.

“If they had not taken Deepam (cooking gas connections) then they would have been covered under the Ujjwala connections since they met the norms and thus also become eligible for the subsidy,” Mr.Jagan Mohan Reddy said.

Launched by the united Andhra Pradesh government in 1999 and continued until the launch of PMUY, the Deepam scheme was intended to provide clean, energy-efficient cooking fuel to the below poverty line households with the government bearing the initial cost of the connection. Though the objective was the same, PMUY was different in terms of additional benefits and extending the scope to cover more beneficiaries. Besides cash assistance for the connection, PMUY beneficiaries are given the first LPG refill and stove free of charge. Over the past few years, the Center has been providing a subsidy of ₹200 per refill too.

While Deepam beneficiaries are not getting this subsidy, the issue came to the fore again when on August 29 the Center slashed LPG refill price by ₹200 each for all households and reiterated that, for Ujjwala consumers, the reduction will be in addition to the ₹ 200 subsidy they were drawing.

In Telangana, there are around 26 lakh Deepam beneficiaries, while in Andhra Pradesh the number is about 58.5 lakh. The number of PMUY connections is 9 lakh in Telangana and 4.5 lakh in AP, Mr.Reddy said, sharing details of the memorandum submitted.

Rajya Sabha MP Vaddiraju Ravi Chandra and leaders of LPG distributors associations from Telangana and AP with Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in New Delhi.

Rajya Sabha MP Vaddiraju Ravi Chandra and leaders of LPG distributors associations from Telangana and AP with Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in New Delhi. , Photo Credit: Arrangement

The leaders of the LPG trade also met Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and underlined the need for an upward revision in the distributor commission, as it has remained unchanged for over three years now. They also cited the estimated capital loss of ₹500 crore that LPG distributors across the country incurred when the price of refills was reduced by ₹200 each. “Every distributor lost ₹50,000–₹5 lakh in a single stroke,” a release from their meeting with the Minister said.

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