Petroleum Minister Dharendra Pradhan on Monday clarified that the poor will continue to get subsidised LPG cylinder for domestic use, scotching media speculation that the government has decided to phase out the dole .
“We have no plan to withdraw subsidy on LPG for domestic use. Subsidy on LPG and kerosene will continue for the poor and common people,” Pradhan told reporters in Tripura after launching the the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
Pradhan said the ministry has taken up with Bangladesh the laying of a pipeline to carry natural gas from Chittagong to Tripura to tackle the LPG crisis in the North-East.
“We are laying a pipeline for transportation of diesel from Siliguri in West Bengal to Parvatipur in Bangladesh. There is a pipeline for carrying diesel from Numaligarh oil refinery in Assam to Siliguri,” he said. “In exchange, we have given the proposal for a gas pipeline from Chittagong to Tripura. We are pursuing the matter diplomatically and I will visit Bangladesh soon.”
The pipeline, if approved by the Bangladesh government, would be laid next to the railway line near the Indo-Bangla international border, he said.
In Tripura, 9.22 lakh households have LPG connection and efforts are on to extend it to all.
The minister laid the foundation for a new 60 tmtpa (thousand metric tonnes per annum) capacity grassroots bottling plant here at an estimated cost of Rs 143 crore. It will be completed by 2019.
Pradhan said requirements of nearly 4.5 lakh households are catered to by the existing bottling plant. With the completion of the new facility, the capacity of LPG supply is expected to double and cover most households.