New Delhi, Jan 30: The government Thursday decided to raise the annual cap on subsidised LPG cylinders to 12 from the existing nine.

Announcing the decision in this regard taken by the on Economic Affairs (CCEA) at a meeting here, Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily told media persons that “in addition to the nine subsidised cylinders given to consumers in a year, there will be one cylinder given in February and one more in March”.

“From the first of April 2014, 12 cylinders will be given per year, that is, one cylinder per month.”

The decision comes after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, at the AICC session here earlier in the month, to hike the subsidised LPG cylinder cap to 12.

Pointing out that 99.2 percent of cooking gas consumers will be covered by the increase in availability of subsidised cylinders, Moily said the annual subsidy burden on this account would totally come to Rs.80,000 crore.

“Total sale of cylinders with subsidy would come to 95.29 crore cylinders and the total annual subsidy burden at the rate of Rs.800 per cylinder will come to Rs.80,000 crore,” the petroleum minister said.

Moily said the additional fuel subsidy arising out of Thursday’s hike in number of cylinders would be around Rs.5,000 crore.

The subsidy burden is shared between the government and state-run oil marketing companies (PMCs)