Look who all is guzzling cooking gas: ministers, CMs, MPs...

Jaipal reddy exposes LPG subsidy suckers through transparency portal

GN Bureau | June 23, 2012

Thanks to an 'LPG Transparency' portal launched by petroleum minister S Jaipal Reddy, the truth has come out as to who is guzzling the cooking gas (LPG - Liquified Petroleum Gas) and who are the biggest suckers of the high subsidy on it.

They are the union ministers, chief ministers, MPs and VIPs, some even dead like Arjun Singh and Rajesh Pilot, who get five to six cylinders every month and some even more as against the ordinary consumer getting at the most 18 in a year, many not getting even 12 in a year.

The rule is that one will be supplied the gas cylinder only once in three weeks, but when it comes to the VIPs in Delhi, they can order even two in a week. The portal also shows the subsidy given to each consumer and that may be Reddy's deliberate purpose to force the MPs and other VIPs to voluntarily forgo it once they stand exposed.

The portal can be accessed through the ministry's website <petroleum.nic.in> or through the oil companies websites <indane.co.in>, <hindustanpetroleum.com> and <ebharatgas.com>. As Reddy stressed through a single click, consumers can now know their individual pattern of LPG usage, booking status, refill history or request for surrender of their connection, highest consumption consumers, subsidy availed etc.

The information on the portal can also be sorted by consumer number, consumer name and by distributors’ name easily and that came handy in a quick run through some of the Indane Gas dealers in the central Delhi to discover the pattern of usage and amount of the subsidy sucked by the VIPs.

The government has to bear a subsidy of about Rs 345 on every cylinder and the amount blows up in thousands when the VIPs get any number of them on just a phone call. In Delhi, an ordinary consumer gets a refill in three or four days while the data on the portal shows many in small towns waiting up to a month to get the gas cylinder delivered after the booking.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal does not live in Delhi, but he has two gas connections besides one in the name of his MP wife Harsimrat at 12 Safdarjung Road and enjoyed the subsidy of about Rs 33,000 over 96 cylinders supplied in one year ending May 31.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also does not live in Delhi but still he got 45 cylinders delivered at No 8, South Avenue, where he does not stay even when on visit to the capital and that means a subsidy of Rs 15,487.65. Giving him company is Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who got 28 cylinders in a year with the subsidy of Rs 9636 at 7 Akbar Road residence he did not vacate after ceasing to be a MP.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna figures among the high consumption consumers, having obtained 83 cylinders in a year at a total subsidy of Rs 28,566. He may try to justify since he is still a member of the Lok Sabha and needs gas at his MP bungalow at 3 Harish Chandra Mathur Road.

Then there are those dead and gone whose gas connections are still active like former prime minister Chandra Shekhar's family getting 48 cylinders with subsidy of Rs 16520,
Arjun Singh who got 34 cylinders at a subsidy of Rs 11761 at 1 Canning lane and Rajesh Pilot who got 36 cylinders at a subsidy of Rs 12390.

Surpassing all, however, is Haryana's industrialist Congress MP Naveen Jindal who pocketed the subsidy of Rs 1.27 lakhs as he got a total of 369 cylinders in 365 days with two connections at his bungalow at 6 Prithviraj Road in the name of Om Prakash Jindal and Mrs Radha Devi Rawat.

Law Minister Salman Khurshid has two connections, one in his name and another in his wife Louise's name and together they got 62 cylinders in a year, costing Rs 21338 to the exchequer.

Former union Minister K P S Gill consumed 79 cylinders in a year at a subsidy of Rs 27189.43, while Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur, wife of former Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh, had 77 cylinders in a year that meant a subsidy of Rs 26,501. Another MoS Namo Narain Meena had 69 cylinders in the year, costing the exchequer Rs 23,747 in terms of the subsidy.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati got 91 cylinders delivered at her 14 Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Road in one year ending May, which meant a subsidy of Rs 31,320, while Mulayam Singh Yadav enjoyed a subsidy of Rs 19961 on 52 cylinders. Giving them company is also Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan who consumed 75 cylinders of gas in a year.

Some others whose names could be dug out for guzzling the subsidised LPG were former union minister A Raja (42 cylinders), Praful Patel (41 cylinders), and Ravi Shankar Prasad (39 cylinders). In fact, there is not a single MP who did not get more cylinders than the norm.



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