Opposition stall Rajya Sabha proceedings protesting LPG price hike

Joanna Estrada
Августа 1, 2017

The move is an attempt to eliminate subsidies by March 2018, PTI reported.

The government had previously asked IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) to raise rates of subsidised domestic LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) by Rs 2 per 14.2-kg cylinder per month (excluding VAT). For the month of July 2017, the subsidy on domestic LPG was Rs. 86.5 /cylinder, which is materially lower than the threshold level of Rs. 255 /cylinder due to the low global prices and regular retail price increase in the recent past, thereby providing comfort from the perspective of PSU oil companies. Sudip Bandopadhyay of Trinamool Congress (TMC) said the steady increase in the LPG cylinder price by the government had been highest in the last six years.

Price of non-subsidised LPG, bought by those who have either given up their subsidies or exhausted the quota of 12 bottles of 14.2-kg in a year at below market price, was cut to Rs 524 per 14.2-kg cylinder from Rs 564.

The government told the Lok Sabha on Monday that it had authorised the oil marketing companies to raise the subsidised cooking gas price to eliminate all subsidies by March 2018.

"This is not acceptable", he said and added that the Centre is killing the poor as the price of LPG would go up by ₹48 per cylinder at a time when oil rates globally have slumped.

The Corporation has been adjusting the price of petroleum products on the basis of worldwide market rates every fortnight. This hike was a result of the order issued on May 30 along with the reflection of increased rates of taxes under the new Goods and Service Tax (GST) scheme.

NOC Spokesperson Sitaram Pokharel said the enterprise revised the LPG price following the price reduction by Indian Oil Corporation in the product.

The price for the other subsidised cylinders (i.e. 5 kg) would be increased proportionately by the OMCs.

As of now, the rates of non subsidized gases, which the consumers have to pay after exhausting their stipulated quota, is around Rs 564. Two-third of the Rs25,000 crore oil subsidy allocated for the current financial year is meant for LPG and the remaining for kerosene.

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