Claiming that there was no shortage of LPG cylinders in the country, the Central government has clarified that they were yet to decide on its rationing to stop the misuse.
On the other hand, the new United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as part of its 100-day agenda, has decided to introduce LPG in rural areas across the country.
As a pilot project, the Centre would appoint one LPG distributor in a cluster of villages, where there were more than 1000 households.
Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Congress MP from Dhauraha in UP Jitin Prasada said the public sector oil companies would soon invite applications for the Rural LPG Distributor Scheme.
He said this initiative was part of the government's commitment to its ideology to focus on the 'aam aadmi'.
''We have decided to relax the rules and regulations for such distributors. Since it may be difficult for many rural consumers to buy the regular LPG cylinders, so there could be a five kg cylinder for the rural consumers,'' Mr Prasada told mediapersons here last night.
Besides, to make it affordable the government could also reduce the security deposit for the cylinder and regulator for rural areas, he said.
Mr Prasada said it was only in the media about rationing of LPG cylinders as no such official decision had been made yet.
Earlier it was reported that a consumer would get only eight to 12 subsidised LPG cylinders per year.
'' There was no shortage of LPG cylinders but the Centre was really concerned about the misuse of LPG cylinders for commercial purpose, which was draining the subsidy given by the Centre,'' he said.
The Minister said out of the total subsidy of Rs 29,000 crore on Kerosene, UP gets Rs 3969 crore per year while in the LPG category, the total subsidy in the country was Rs 19314 crore annually, of which UP's share was Rs 2170.30 crore.
He also announced that his ministry would focus on implementation of the Piped Natural Gas(PNG) in some big cities in Uttar Pradesh.
Talking about the misuse of LPG and Kerosene in UP, the Union Minister said all efforts have been enforced to check the irregularities by the Public Sector Companies.
''The state government should also launch a drive against the misuse,'' he stressed.