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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cold water on hot meals


Homemaker Gurpreet Kaur (26) of Refugee Colony, Sakchi, has asked her businessman husband Satnam Singh Gambhir to turn up for meals on time if he wanted his rajma chawal piping hot.

The Centre’s decision on Thursday to cap the supply of subsidised LPG cylinders at six per year is the reason behind Gurpreet’s stern order.

“Heating food again means using more gas. Coming home on time will save fuel,” Satnam, unhappy with both the Centre and his own ‘home ministry’, forced a smile.

Gurpreet added that she had no choice other than forcing her husband to be punctual.

“After yesterday’s decision, I simply can’t afford to reheat food. We buy Indane Gas cylinders each costing Rs 422. Ours is a joint family comprising the units of three brothers and we have a three-year-old son. Normally, we need a cylinder every month. It is likely that we have to buy six cylinders at the market price of Rs 746 each,” said Gurpreet grimly.

Each extra cylinder will cost Rs 746.

Not surprisingly, the decision of Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) hasn’t been welcomed by the family.

“Since school, we know India is a welfare state. Do these decisions signify the government’s resolve to change it? It won’t just disturb our budget but also force us to change how we cook,” Satnam, a partner of a tyre retreader shop on Sakchi Kalimati Road who makes Rs 40,000 a month, said.

True, the famed Punjabi kaali dal which tastes best when slow-cooked on fire for hours will have to disappear from daily fare.

“We’ll have to use energy-efficient pressure cookers. We’re thinking of using flat-bottomed cookware, keeping food outside the fridge so that it attains room temperature before cooking, use less water perhaps,” said Gurpreet.

“I have asked my wife to speak to a consultant in Bistupur for energy efficient cooking tips to make optimum use of every LPG cylinder. We have to try our best to extend the use of six cylinders,” said Satnam.

After some quick calculation, Satnam added optimistically that they would have to buy three cylinders at market price, not more.

“Instead of cutting subsidies and straining our budget, why doesn’t the government recover black money stashed in overseas banks?” he asked.