New Delhi. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday that even after privatization of the country's second largest retail petroleum fuel vendor Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), its consumers will continue to get LPG subsidy. Pradhan said, "The subsidy on LPG is given directly to consumers and not to any company. Therefore, there will be no effect (on subsidy) on ownership of the company selling LPG. "The government offers a maximum of 12 LPG cylinders (each with 14.2 kg gas) at subsidized rate every year on each connection. This subsidy is given directly into the bank accounts of consumers.
Consumers purchase LPG at the market price from the dealer and later the subsidy comes to their account. The government subsidizes consumers of oil marketing companies Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), BPCL and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL). Pradhan said that LPG subsidy is paid digitally to all verified customers. "Since it is paid directly to the consumers, it does not matter whether the service provider is in the public sector or the private sector," he said, adding that LPG subsidy to BPCL consumers even after disinvestment Will continue to meet as before.
The government is selling its entire 53 percent stake in BPCL with management control. The new owner of the company will get 15.33 percent of India's refining capacity and 22 percent of the fuel market. Of the total 28.5 crore LPG consumers in the country, 7.3 crore are from BPCL. "All these will continue to get government subsidy," Pradhan said. Asked if BPCL consumers would migrate to IOC and HPCL after a few years, he said that there is no such proposal right now. He said, "When we pay subsidy directly to consumers, then ownership does not come in its way.