New Delhi: Cooking gas LPG price on Wednesday was hiked by Rs 50 per cylinder — the first increase in rates in almost eight months — that came within days of end of polling in three northeastern states and was sharply criticised by the Opposition.
A 14.2-kg LPG cylinder in Delhi now costs Rs 1,103, up from Rs 1,053, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) said Rs 1,103 was the rate for a 14.2-kg non-subsidised LPG cylinder.
The government doesn’t pay any subsidy to most non-Ujjwala users and this is the rate that they will have to pay for buying cooking gas refills. The government pays Rs 200 per cylinder subsidy to the 9.58 crore poor who got free LPG connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. The effective price for them would be Rs 903 per cylinder.
State-owned fuel retailers are supposed to revise rates on a monthly basis in line with cost but they have not done so since 2020 and were in October last year given a one-time grant of Rs 22,000 crore to make up for losses they incurred between June 2020 and June 2022. They last revised domestic LPG price on July 4, 2022.
With the latest increase, LPG now costs Rs 1,102.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder in Mumbai, Rs 1,129 in Kolkata and Rs 1,118.50 in Chennai. Rates differ from state to state depending on local taxes. Parallely, oil firms also hiked the price of commercial LPG, used in hotels and restaurants, by Rs 350.5 to Rs 2,119.5 per 19-kg cylinder.
Commercial LPG rates have more or less moved in tandem with cost which soared in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year back. Rates of commercial LPG were last hiked by Rs 25 per cylinder in January. The Opposition criticised the government for raising the fuel rates, particularly of domestic LPG ahead of Holi.
In a tweet, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the common man is suffering from backbreaking inflation under the Modi government. Priyanka Chaturvedi of Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray said this was Modi government’s Holi gift. Separately, ATF price was cut by 4 per cent in line with softening international rates of the fuel. Accordingly, jet fuel rates were reduced by Rs 4,606.50 per kilolitre to Rs 1,07,750.27 per kl in Delhi.
This reverses the hike in rates effected by an equal measure last month. ATF price is revised on the 1st of every month based on the average rate of international benchmark and foreign exchange rates.
Petrol and diesel prices, however, continued to remain on freeze for a record 11th month in a row. Petrol costs Rs 96.72 per litre in the national capital and diesel comes for Rs 89.62.
State-owned fuel retailers are supposed to revise petrol and diesel prices daily based on a 15-day rolling average of benchmark international fuel prices but they haven’t done that since April 6, 2022.
Prices were last changed on May 22 when the government cut excise duty to give relief to consumers from a spike in retail rates that followed a surge in international oil prices.