Petroleum Minister faces opposition ire in Rajya Sabha 13/08/2014

Petroleum Minister faces opposition ire in Rajya Sabha
13/08/2014 13:46
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday faced ire of opposition members in Rajya Sabha as they accused him of not giving specific replies even as Chairman Hamid Ansari agreed that Ministers need to give direct replies to pointed queries, reported PTI. Answering questions on Aadhaar-based direct subsidy transfer to domestic cooking gas LPG consumers, Mr. Pradhan spoke in general terms and made a political statement, drawing angry reactions from opposition benches. He said the direct benefit transfer on LPG (DBTL) scheme was a “good scheme” but was launched by the previous UPA government with objective of getting political mileage before the general elections. The Minister was asked reasons for discontinuing DBTL. Members wanted to know when the government proposed to re-launch it as well as the number of poor enrolled for Aadhaar and bank accounts seeded. Congress members including Anand Sharma objected to Mr. Pradhan not giving a direct reply. The scheme was launched in June 2013 and general elections were held almost a year later. Satyavrat Chaturvedi of the Congress said just as the Chair insists on members to ask specific questions, the ministers too should give specific replies to specific points raised. To this, Mr. Ansari said, “Agreed.” Mr. Pradhan said the DBTL could have proved to be a game changer as was billed before its launch, but the scheme faltered because of poor preparedness. Under DBTL, consumers are paid cash subsidy to help them buy LPG cylinders at market price.