Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday appealed to the well-off people to give up subsidized cooking gas while expressing his government’s resolve to reduce dependence on energy imports by 10 per cent by 2022.
Stressing on energy security, Modi said India will have to be independent in this area and seek new avenues to replenish existing sources in a bid to serve the growing appetite of the people. “We need to be independent when it comes to providing our people with energy,” Modi said, while inaugurating the “Urja Sangam – 2015″ conference on energy security in New Delhi.
Steps to dismantle India’s subsidies would allow the Narendra Modi-administration to follow through with a pledge to take tough steps to revive Asia’s third-biggest economy.
On Friday in the Indian capital, Modi pitched for people who are well-off to surrender their fuel subsidy entitlement.
“People who don’t need LPG (liquified petroleum gas) subsidy and those who are capable of managing without it should give it up. I ask you to join this movement. Give up gas subsidy. Create a record. The subsidy that you will give up will go a long way in benefiting the poor people,” he said.
Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in January said there was a need to rationalise all subsidies and ensure stability in policies to attract investment and drive growth.
The Indian government spends huge amount on subsidizing cooking gas to keep its price low for households. India imports about 80 per cent of its daily crude oil requirements.
Under the subsidies, households are entitled to buy the LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cylinders at less than half the market price. It is a highly popular, and sometimes vital, scheme in a country of 1.2 billion people.