The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is crying foul over the alleged delay by the Congress-led government in announcing the decision.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anil Deshmukh, who belongs to the NCP, raised the issue during the weekly meeting of the state cabinet yesterday. He is learnt to have told the meeting that people had already started asking when the government decision would be taken.
Sources said the Food and Civil Supplies department had already submitted its proposal on three additional cylinders.
Responding to Deshmukh, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan reportedly said the issue could be taken up for discussion within the next three to four days.
The CM is learnt to have asked officials of the department to collect information from other states on the matter, but an NCP minister told MiD DAY that such information was not necessary and the department concerned had moved a detailed proposal for the cabinet.
Various slabs have been suggested for the government to choose from, said an official.
“The maximum burden on the government would be Rs 2,400 crore and the minimum would be Rs 126 crore for providing three more cylinders at subsidised rates,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
The state will have to consider the financial burden and gain exact data on families before announcing the decision, cautioned the bureaucrat.
NCP ministers claim the decision has been deliberately kept pending as the issue of financial burden will be handled by the Finance Department, which is headed by an NCP minister, Jayant Patil.
A delegation of the women’s wing of the NCP led by MP Supriya Sule and MLC Vidya Chavan met the CM yesterday and demanded the provision of three additional cylinders at subsidised rates.
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