Adhir Ranjan, Hardeep Puri cross swords in LS over Ujjwala subsidy

Petroleum Minister Hardeep Puri and Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury entered into a war of words over Ujjwala scheme subsidy and gas prices in the house on Thursday.

The drama took place during Question Hour, when BJP MP from Balaghat, Dhal Singh Bisen sought to know from Puri, the quantum of loss faced by the government as several Ujjwala beneficiaries have failed to get a second refill of their cylinders and whether the government will increase the subsidy amount to ensure refill of Ujjwala cylinders.

Puri, in his response, said that there seems to be some lack of information on the issue and went on to inform the House that there has been a quantum leap in number of LPG connections since 2014.

He said that it is factually incorrect to say that Ujjwala beneficiaries have not taken a second cylinder.

As the minister went on to explain how the government has made efforts to keep the domestic gas prices in check despite a surge in its prices internationally, at this point, Chowdhury interrupted Puri, seeking to know the present gas price.

The minister continued with his response, saying that the average consumption of cylinders has gone up from three per family to three and a half cylinders per family.

Chowdhury again interrupted him, saying that the subsidy has been prohibited under the NDA government.

Puri countered him, saying that the Congress has been repeatedly been “devastated at polls because their basic facts are not right”. He said that the Congress leader was venting his frustrations.

When Chowdhury again said that the government was not giving any subsidy under Ujjwala scheme to beneficiaries, Puri said that subsidy was not needed in 2020 when due to Covid pandemic, gas prices had fallen.

Now it was being given as Rs 200 per cylinder through direct benefit transfer to Ujjwala beneficiaries, as gas prices have risen globally, even though the Centre has kept domestic prices in check, the minister said.

Chowdhury again interjected saying that the government had not given any subsidy to the poor in 2020 when prices of gas were falling.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal then asked the Congress leader to listen to the minister.

As the din continued, Speaker Om Birla said that the Question Hour was over as the clock had struck 12 p.m.

20221208-172002

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