Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Wednesday said 65 percent of the seven million LPG users in the state use six or less than six gas cylinders a year.
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in New Delhi last week decided to put a cap of six cylinders at subsidised rates to all and which led to a widespread protest across the country.
Addressing a hurriedly called press conference here at his residence, Chandy who is indisposed due to a thigh injury said that he was surprised to see the figures of the usage of LPG in the state.
"Its just 1.08 per cent of the state households that use over 12 cylinders a year while 3.76 per cent use 11 to 12 cylinders, 10.5 per cent use nine to 10 and 19.82 per cent use seven to eight cylinders an year," said Chandy.
The state government has decided to provide subsidised cylinders to the below poverty line (BPL) card holders but it comes with a condition.
"The usage of LPG by the BPL cardholders in the last fiscal will be first looked into and they will be given that but subject to a maximum of nine.
"If a particular BPL cardholder has used nine cylinders, the state will subsidise the extra three cylinders. Once we look into the exact outflow, we might consider giving subsidy to others also but it would be decided after looking into all aspects. We are right now waiting for the exact number of BPL cardholders who use LPG," said Chandy.
He also added that no state government in the country has extended so much relief to the people like his government.
"Since we took over office in May last year, there has been a hike in petrol prices twice and diesel prices four times. Each time we decided to forego the increased tax that the state exchequer would have got on this hike and it has come to Rs.557 crore. Those who withdrew support to the UPA government have done nothing and yet they criticise," said Chandy.