LPG price hike figures in Rajya Sabha

·3-min read

New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) The steep hike in domestic cooking gas price figured in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday with a CPI(M) MP saying it has put an intolerable burden on the common people already suffering from general price rise.

Raising the issue through a zero-hour mention, Jharna Das Baidya said subsidised and non-subsidised LPG prices were raised by a steep Rs 125 per cylinder in four installments since February.

This together with a cut in fuel subsidy has put an 'intolerable burden on people already suffering from price rise,' she said.

Calling the price hike 'unjustified', she said free cooking gas connections given to eight crore beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana have been rendered meaningless because of the hike in cost.

Vivek Tankha of the Congress sought the government's intervention to bring down the high cost of a drug used to treat infants suffering from a rare disease called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

An estimated 2,500 children in India suffer from some degree of SMA disease, which can be treated by a drug manufactured in the US, he said, adding the final cost of the drug comes to Rs 23 crore after adding Rs 7 crore of import duty.

While the prime minister had waived the import tax for treatment of one child recently, the government should completely withdraw the duty and bargain and get a better price from the manufacturer, he said.

Also, states and the Centre should have revolving funds to help children suffering from SMA, he said, adding CSR funds of corporates should also be used for the purpose.

AD Singh of the RJD raised the issue of the Bihar government allocating 290 acres of 'highly fertile' land for handling waste from coal from state-owned NTPC's Baurani plant in the state.

He said infertile land is available adjacent to the plant but the state government has opted to give highly fertile land 5 km away from the plant.

Citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for fertile land not being used for industrial projects, he demanded that the matter be taken up with the state government.

While Muzibulla Khan of the BJD demanded Bharat Ratna for Biju Patnaik, Vishambhar Prasad Nishad of the Samajwadi Party (SP) wanted the nation's top civilian honours to be conferred on Ram Manohar Lohia.

Amee Yajnik of the Congress raised the issue of public safety of women and girls in rural areas, Sukhram Singh Yadav (SP) wanted setting up of a separate fund to meet the development needs of the villages MPs adopt under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, Mahesh Poddar (BJP) raised the issue of permanent houses for construction workers and Fauzia Khan (NCP) sought developing Sai Baba's birthplace of Pathri in Parbhani district of Maharashtra as a tourist destination.

KTS Tulsi (Congress) expressed concern over controversial statements made by people holding high offices.

'Reprehensive crime of rape is justified' by statements such as 'boys will be boys', he said. PTI ANZ SMN