Eight million surrender LPG connections; PNG being extended to other cities: minister

The 'GiveItUp' campaign initiated by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas to voluntarily surrender subsidy got an overwhelming response with more than 8 million LPG consumers voluntarily surrendering the subsidy on LPG in the six months that ended on 3 March 2016.

Stating this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, minister of state (independent charge) for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan also stated that the government is simultaneously extending the supply of piped natural gas to cities that are not already covered.

He said oil marketing companies (OMCs) are also making efforts to target the higher income group (taxable income of more than Rs10 lakh) using technology and available information to get them surrender the subsidy.

SMSs have been sent to the consumers to submit self declaration form and they are being provided with on-line facility to declare their income and submit self declaration in the prescribed form to distributors, if the taxable income of the consumer or his / her spouse exceeds Rs10 lakh.

For top 10 metros of the country, where most of the high income tax payers are likely to be residing, a suitable question has been built in the IVRS / SMS platforms for ascertaining the income status of the LPG consumers. During telephonic calls also for refills, this is being done.

Consumers applying for new connections are also required to make declaration of his or his/her spouse of taxable income exceeding Rs10 lakh during the previous financial year computed as per Income Tax Act, 1961.

The minister also stated that the government has established Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), which will authorise entities for developing a city gas distribution (CGD) network in the specified geographical area (GA) of the country through a bidding process.

PNGRB has envisaged a phased roll out plan for development of CGD networks in several geographical areas in various states. The GAs are included in bidding rounds in a phased manner depending on the natural gas pipeline connectivity/natural gas availability and feasibility for grant of authorisation to develop CGD networks in the country.

PNGRB has envisaged a phased roll out plan for development of CGD networks in the country depending on the natural gas pipeline connectivity/natural gas availability in the country, the minister added.