Government is considering doing away with the LPG subsidy for the well-off, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.
“The next important decision India will have to take is whether people like me…(are) entitled to get our LPG subsidy,” he said.
“I think the sooner we are able to take these decisions as to who is entitled to these subsidies, of course some people would be, the better it would be for our system. These decisions are all on our agenda,” he added.
Currently, 12 cylinders are available to consumers at a subsidised rate of Rs 414 each (in Delhi). Any requirement beyond this will have to be purchased at the market price of Rs 880 per 14.2-kg cylinder.
Jaitley said: “Once political leadership, particularly the man on the top, has decisiveness, the most complicated of the decisions will also become simple.
“One does not have to wait for years to decide on coal blocks or what to do with spectrum or natural resources, or with diesel pricing or with gas pricing.”
Some of these decisions had been complicated over the years, but the new government wasted no time and simply took a call on them he said, adding that “I think that’s the agenda we continue to follow”.
Jaitley further said that India is at a crucial stage “where we must not exhaust our patience” as global investors are looking at the country with renewed interest.
After coming to power, the Narendra Modi-led government deregulated diesel prices and linked them to the market rate. Earlier, the government used to provide subsidy on diesel.
Jaitley said he was “almost ready” with the proposal on the Goods and Services Tax and was confident that the Constitution Amendment Bill on it would be introduced in the next Parliament session starting Monday.
Referring to long-pending insurance bill, he said “we are on the verge” of opening the sector a little more.
The Bill proposes to increase foreign direct investment limit in the insurance sector to 49 percent from the current 26 percent.