Chennai: Opposition leaders including DMK working president M.K. Stalin on Tuesday came down heavily on the reported move of centre to cancel cooking gas subsidy in eight months.
Stalin demanded the cancellation of permission for raising the cost of cooking gas cylinders. The announcement showed that the centre did not have any concern over the welfare of people especially women. He also flayed the new conditions for obtaining commodities through PDS shops and said it would deny ration cards if anyone in the family is paying income tax.
Besides, ration cares would be denied for government staff, retired government employees and those having air conditioners at home, he said and added that those who earn Rs. one lakh too would not be given ration cards. This is the result of state signing the National Food Security scheme, he said.
TNCC president S. Thirunavukkarasar said the crude oil prices had come down by nearly half at the international market, but the excise duty on petroleum products had been hiked 13 times by the Union government since the BJP came to power.
PMK founder S. Ramadoss said payment of subsidies through banks was a ploy to stop the subsidy altogether. While the cost of petroleum is Rs 24.57 per litre, it is sold at `67.71 per litre as the tax levied on each litre is Rs 43.14, he said.
MDMK general secretary Vaiko said the move would burden people as the prices of gas cylinders would spiral without control. He also alleged that the Union government is trying to do away with the public distribution system altogether.
CPI state secretary R. Mutharasan said the centre had accepted the conditions of World Trade Organisation and canceling all kinds of subsidies.