LPG cylinders dearer; INC critiques govt ignoring technicality

A part of the LPG supply is kept non-subsidised so that government does not control prices of the part, and thus the exchequer is relieved, but this fact is inconvenient for INC spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala

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The cost of a liquified petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder will shoot through the roof of your budget for the kitchen today as the non-subsidised cylinders have increased by about Rs 150 since Wednesday, 12 February 2020. According to the website of Indian Oil, the price of a 14-kg Indane gas cylinder in Delhi has increased by Rs 144.50 to Rs 858.50 in metro cities.

According to an IANS report, this is the highest increase in the cooking gas cylinder prices in six years (since January 2014).

In Kolkata, its price has increased by Rs 149, making it Rs 896.

In Mumbai, the gas cylinder will now be available for Rs 829.50, with the cost rising by Rs 145.

Chennai will now have to pay Rs 147 more for non-subsidized LPG gas cylinders. The price is Rs 881 in the capital of Tamil Nadu.

There had been no change in the price of non-subsidized cylinders since 1 January 2020.

Fuel retailers fix LPG cylinder prices every month. Indian Oil supplies 3 million Indane gas cylinders every day in the country.

The price of gas cylinders in India depends on two things. The first is the international benchmark rate of LPG and the second is the exchange rate of the US dollar with which India imports crude oil and the Indian rupee.

LPG is prepared by refining petroleum or “wet” natural gas and is almost entirely derived from fossil fuel sources, being manufactured during the refining of petroleum (crude oil), or extracted from petroleum or natural gas streams as they emerge from the ground.

Fuel retailers sell LPG cylinders at the market price, but the government provides subsidy directly to every family for 12 cylinders every year.

This technicality, however, does nothing to stop opposition’s politicians from haranguing the government. Reacting to the development, INC spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted today, “Modi ji increased the price of LPG to ₹ 144! LPG price increased to ₹ 200 in 2019 to 1 year! Delhi – ₹ 858.50, Mumbai – ₹ 829.50, Chennai – ₹ 881, Kolkata – ₹ 896. While talking about current, he killed the current on the pocket of the public!”

The fact is that the price of a non-subsidised commodity is no longer under the control of any government. Consumers have to pay whatever the market charges for the product. There is no change in the price of subsidised LPG cylinders.

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