New Delhi, Oct 12 (Agency) The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved Rs 22,000 crore one-time grant to public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) on account of losses incurred due to supplying LPG gas to consumers at government-mandated prices. The grant will be distributed among Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL). “The approval will help the PSU OMCs to continue their commitment to the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, ensuring unhindered domestic LPG supplies and also supporting the procurement of Make in India products,” an official statement said. As per the government data, the international prices of LPG increased by around 300% during the period from June 2020 to June 2022.
“However, to insulate consumers from fluctuations in international LPG prices, the cost increase was not fully passed on to consumers of domestic LPG. Accordingly, domestic LPG prices have raised by only 72 per cent during this period. This has led to significant losses for these OMCs,” the statement said. Among other key decisions, the Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval for payment of Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) to railway employees for the financial year 2021-22. Payment of PLB to eligible railway employees is made each year before the Dusshera/Puja holidays. This year also, PLB amount equivalent to 78 days wages has been paid to about 11.27 lakh non-gazetted Railway employees. The maximum amount payable per eligible railway employee is Rs 17,951 for 78 days. “The financial implication of payment of 78 days PLB to railway employees has been estimated to be Rs 1832.09 crore.
The above decision for payment of PLB has been taken despite adverse financial situation caused by post Covid-19 challenges.,” the government media release said after the Cabinet meeting. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved a new scheme Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North East Region (PM-DevINE) for the remaining four years of the 15th Finance Commission from 2022-23 to 2025-26. The new Scheme, PM-DevINE, is a Central Sector Scheme with 100 per cent Central funding and will be implemented by Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER). The PM-DevINE Scheme will have an outlay of Rs 6,600 crore for the four year period from 2022-23 to 2025-26 (remaining years of 15th Finance Commission period). “PM-DevINE will lead to creation of infrastructure, support industries, social development projects and create livelihood activities for youth and women, thus leading to employment generation,” the official statement said.