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Gandhinagar, Monday: Gujarat's Minister of State for Energy Saurabh Patel today said the CNG users in the state, including domestic and vehicle operators, are in for bearing extra burden for the rise in CNG prices by the Centre, 21 times in the last one-and-half months to be precise.

He held the Congress-ruled UPA Government at the Centre alone responsible for jerking up the CNG prices now and then, forcing the local distribution companies to up the retail prices.

The Minister came down heavily on the Centre for singling out only Gujarat to buy costlier imported gas, while allocating the indigenous gas produced at lower cost to other states, with unbearable burden thrust on the CNG users in the state.

Mr. Patel said that Chief Minister Narendra Modi too, had raised the issue with the Centre umpteenth time, the latest during his address to the Planning Commission in New Delhi, but to no avail.

He said that Gujarat is one state which has laid a pipeline gas-grid across the state with 5.50-lakh connections, for which Gujarat is helping the Central Government save Rs.425 on subsidy, including Rs.177-cr subsidy on CNG and Rs.248-cr subsidy on diesel-petrol.

If the Centre could supply gas to even steel plants and refineries in other states at lower prices, why deprive the vulnerable domestic and vehicle users in Gujarat, he asked.

Mr. Patel said that if the Centre provides gas to Gujarat-Ahmedabad at lower cost from the KG basin, Gujarat Government is ready to lower the CNG prices by 30 per cent.

Gujarat Information Bureau

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