Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

LPG subsidy

There is a campaign asking LPG customers to give up subsidy and by doing so they are gifting LPG to a deprived household. TV ad appears regularly. There was a newspaper ad. CNN-IBN has made the campaign its own. It is said one million customers have given up subsidy.
Subsidy is for 12 cylinders per year. Above that customers pay full cost and there is no reimbursement. How many customers get subsidy for 12 or less cylinders?
How much money is spent on ads?
There are three types of lies; lies, damned lies, statistics. Have one million customers given up subsidy? During 2014 Lok Sabha elections CNN-IBN tag line was A Billion Votes. John Oliver pointed out that India’s voters were 800 million and the difference of 200 million was the size of Brazil. CNN-IBN persisted in its folly. Has no one given up subsidy since campaign began? If some persons have given up subsidy their number should be added to the million unless the actual number is less than a million.
There is no need of LPG subsidy if rupee is strong against dollar. Successive governments have weakened rupee against dollar to please exporters. It is 64 rupees per dollar now. When India became independent it was 3.36 rupees per dollar. On 4/10/1949 it became 4.76 rupees per dollar. On 6/6/1966 it became 7.50 rupees per dollar. That was the official rate for around 14 years. Then gradual devaluation began. In the middle of June 1991 it was 16 rupees per dollar. Then in one day it became 21 rupees per dollar. After that it had been a downward spiral for rupee. When rupee becomes strong notes are printed and dollars are bought. When dollar becomes strong no effort is made to protect rupee at the prevalent level. The government should make rupee strong. There will be no need for subsidy.
The government should abolish subsidies and privileges of MPs. Parliament canteen subsidy can easily go. Air travels should be only from constituency to Delhi to attend Parliament sessions. When Parliament is disrupted salaries and allowances of MPs should be cut. There are 795 MPs. Daily allowance is 2,000 rupees. Salary, constituency allowance, secretarial allowance, and other allowances and benefits are more than 3,00,000 rupees per month. When Parliament is disrupted for a day every MP should lose 12,000 rupees. Total is 95,40,000 rupees per day. If Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays come in between they should also be counted. If MPs don’t want to lose money marshals should be used to throw out disrupting MPs. Money saved and deducted can provide LPG to deprived households.
MNREGA, MPLADS, SPG security to former Prime Ministers and Gandhi family, subsidies to colleges, IITs, IIMs, kendriya vidyalayas, universities, FTTI etc. should be scrapped. Money saved can provide LPG to deprived households.
Kerosene subsidy should be abolished. It will stop diesel adulteration.
Pension to MPs should be abolished.
Who are deprived households? Many people in villages use LPG.
If the government wants to abolish LPG subsidy it can do at once. It has gone for soft option. Some billionaires gave up their LPG subsidy first. Then some executives in their companies gave up subsidies. Then employees were told to give up subsidies. When more than half the customers give up subsidy, government will abolish subsidy. It is easy for billionaires and high income people to give up subsidy. Life is difficult for people with low income. They do not wish to give up subsidy. When they see MPs enjoying subsidies and privileges and Parliament not functioning there is no motivation to give up subsidy.

Updated: July 25, 2015 — 7:38 am

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