SUBHADEEP SANTRA :A Modi government led campaign in 2015 asking the upper middle class to voluntarily give up LPG subsidy had received mixed responses since its inception.
The ‘give it up’ campaign was rooted for the success of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. This Yojana seeks to provide LPG connection to women below poverty line.
According to the Press Information Bureau around 1.04 crore Indians gave up LPG subsidy as on 06.02.2019.
The expenditure thus retained was diverted to release new connections of Liquified Petroleum Gas.
“Government deserves a dab for such an innovative methodology devised to wade through troubled fiscal deficit” told an economist while pondering on the economic implications of the campaign. “The lower income group will now have a more convenient lifestyle” he added.
Environmentalists also have high hopes from the scheme.The World Health Organisation had stated that lakhs of poor die due to pollution every year and biomass cooking fuel is a major pollutant.
A member of the opposition retorted “The PIB report is just a facade of economic development. They (Government) are behaving as if Modi Ji had devised a talismanic scheme from his palette of Yojanas to turn the economic disparity upside down.”
“There is no evidence that the money saved from the campaign was actually mobilised for the poor. This scheme will also turn rancid like the demonetisation until corruption is controlled ” , he added, unable to hide the annoyance in the quiver of his voice.