India gives residents more cheap cooking gas before election
NEW DELHI (AFP) - The Indian government on Thursday raised the subsidy on cooking gas, a populist move just months before national elections but one that will further strain the public purse.
The cabinet agreed to raise the number of subsidised gas cylinders per home from nine to 12 a year after Mr Rahul Gandhi, number two in the ruling Congress party, demanded the increase earlier this month to meet consumer needs.
"Today the cabinet has taken a decision to increase it to 12 ... and it will be effective from 1 February," said Oil Minister Veerappa Moily at a press conference.
Asked whether cabinet's decision was influenced by Mr Gandhi's request, Information Minister Manish Tewari said: "Rahul Gandhi is an elected representative and if he says anything, it is considered very seriously."