New Delhi: The price of subsidised cooking gas (LPG) has been hiked by Rs 35.55 per cylinder in the last five months, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday.
As per government policy, LPG all over the country is available only at market price. However, households are entitled to buying 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg each at a subsidised rate in a year. The government transfers the subsidy amount directly into the bank accounts which the beneficiaries use to buy LPG at the market price.
The subsidised LPG price has gone up by Rs 35.55 per cylinder since October.
In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Pradhan said domestic subsidised LPG in Delhi was priced at Rs 538.95 per cylinder on October 1, 2019, and this month it costs Rs 574.50.
He did not give any reason for the price increase.
While non-subsidised or market priced LPG has varied from month to month based on benchmark international rates, subsidised LPG prices have been raised every month by Rs 4 per cylinder plus taxes.
These rates, however, are no longer published by the oil market companies.
To the question of whether state-owned oil marketing companies had stopped publishing subsidised gas prices, he said the price of non-subsidised domestic LPG is available at the websites of oil companies.
In reply to another question, Pradhan said non-subsidised LPG cylinder costs Rs 805.50.
Household consumers are getting a subsidy of Rs 231 per 14.2-kg cylinder, he said.
So, a household buys LPG at Rs 805.50 per cylinder. After accounting for Rs 231 that he or she gets as government subsidy, the payout is Rs 574.50.
"The prices of petroleum products in the country are linked to the price of the respective products in the international market. However, the Government continues to modulate the effective price to consumers for subsidized domestic LPG and the consumers get the product at the subsidised rate.
"The subsidy on subsidized domestic LPG increase/ decrease with the increase/ decrease in the product price in the international market and decision of Government on subsidy," he said.
Pradhan had on July 31, 2017, stated in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha that the government had ordered state-run oil companies to raise subsidised cooking gas (LPG) prices by Rs 4 per cylinder every month to eliminate all the subsidies.
"Public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) were authorised to increase the price of subsidised domestic LPG cylinder by Rs 2 per cylinder (14.2-kg) per month (excluding VAT) with effect from July 1, 2016," he had said.
Oil companies had hiked LPG rates on 10 occasions since that go-ahead.
"The government vide its order dated May 30, 2017, has again authorised OMCs to continue to increase the effective price of subsidised domestic LPG by Rs 4 per cylinder effective June 1, 2017, per month (excluding VAT) till the reduction of government subsidy to 'nil'," he had stated.
There are over 26 crore customers of subsidised LPG in the country. These include 8 crore poor women who were given free connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna.