Rich may get No Subsidy on LPG

New Delhi, Nov 22: The wealthy people may witness tough period ahead as the Centre is considering to cut the subsidy on the cooking gas for them to bring the balance in economy in India.

While delivering a lecture at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, finance minister Arun Jaitley hinted at more reforms ahead in the country that would be with tough decisions for the rich people.

"The next important decision that India has to take is whether people like us should get our LPG subsidy", Jaitley said adding, "Removing the subsidy on cooking gas for better off consumers would help the government lower its spending on unproductive subsidies, giving it much needed space to increase its capital expenditure as well as curb its fiscal deficit".

Attending the event on Friday, Jaitley talked about his government's agenda which includes the removal of subsidy for rich people like politicians, bureaucrats and entrepreneurs.

While diesel and petrol prices have already been freed up, consumers at present get 12 cooking gas cylinders every year at a subsidised rate of Rs 414 each (in Delhi). Any requirement beyond this will have to be purchased at the market price of Rs 880 per 14.2-kg cylinder.

Jaitley said he had also recently had a meeting with the Expenditure Management Commission, which has been asked to review government subsidies as well as spending. "I hope they will come out with a strategy" he said.

The statement comes at a time when the government is trying to meet its fiscal deficit target of 4.1 per cent in 2014-15.

Jaitley also said the government would be able to meet the direct tax target, though indirect tax remains a "challenge" as manufacturing sector was a great source of worry.

Meanwhile, listing out reforms that his government is set to take, the minister said he was almost ready with the proposal on the Goods and Services Tax and was confident that the Constitution Amendment Bill on it would be introduced in the Winter Session starting Monday.

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