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The Centre’s reported decision to cap the subsidy on cooking gas makes perfect sense. Open-ended — and, in effect, unlimited — consumption subsidies on petroleum products simply (1) resources, stymie investment and jack up the cost of funds across the board. The subsidy on domestic LPG cylinders is also (2) appropriated by the non-poor and needs to be phased out for the greater good. In parallel, what’s needed is (3) -up distribution of piped cooking gas, on which there is no upfront subsidy.
Consumers currently pay less than half the market price for up to 12 subsidised LPG cylinders per year. Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan has been quoted as saying that while the number of subsidised cylinders will remain the same, their deliverable price will change. Note that last year, the LPG subsidy added up to over Rs 46,000 crore, much of it questionable. Worse, a 2012 survey (4) that 25 per cent of domestic LPG in Karnataka were ‘ghost’ connections. And in 2013, it was found that 20 per cent of its 1.6 crore registered LPG consumers in Andhra Pradesh were ‘(5) ‘. The way (6) is to gradually phase out the upfront subsidy on a time-bound basis and opt, instead, for targeted direct benefit transfers using Aadhaar and other foolproof mechanisms. The idea ought to be to move to a competitive market price rather than a (7) subsidised price that is perverse incentive for (8) and artificial shortages. In tandem, we need to genuinely open up LPG marketing so that multiple players can competitively seek custom and, in the process, drive down costs by improving logistics and supply.
Such ‘parallel marketing’ was tried out back in 1993, but it failed to take off as there was no (9) policy design with clear-cut norms for infrastructure sharing, market development and the like. If the government were to stress city gas distribution projects, to replace bottled LPG, the investment would boost economic growth as well. A (10) would be a leg added to an emerging market for gas in India.
- 1) misallocate
5) appropriateAnswer – 1)
Explanation: misallocate – fail to allocate (something) efficiently or fairly.
- 1) distinushed
5) tinyAnswer – 4)
Explanation: overwhelmingly – to a very great degree or with a great majority.
- 1) conception
5) unavoidableAnswer – 4)
Explanation: stepped – having or formed into a step or series of steps.
- 1) slant
5) hideAnswer – 3)
Explanation: revealed – make (previously unknown or secret information) known to others.
- 1) potent
5) genuineAnswer – 2)
Explanation: bogus – not genuine or true (used in a disapproving manner when deception has been attempted).
- 1) background
5) subsequentlyAnswer – 4)
Explanation: ahead – further forward in space; in the line of one’s forward motion.
- 1) heels of
3) bringing up
5) distortedAnswer – 5)
Explanation: distorted – pulled or twisted out of shape; contorted.
- 1) arbitrage
4) the rear
5) temptingAnswer – 1)
Explanation: arbitrage – the simultaneous buying and selling of securities, currency, or commodities in different markets or in derivative forms in order to take advantage of differing prices for the same asset.
- 1) ineluctable
5) fascinatingAnswer – 2)
Explanation: holistic – characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
- 1) notion
5) considerationAnswer – 2)
Explanation: corollary – a proposition that follows from (and is often appended to) one already proved.