lpg: the price of lpg for households has risen again, but no government plan to restore subsidies

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NEW DELHI: The cost of domestic cooking gas (LPG) refills topped Rs 1,000 in Delhi – where tariffs are traditionally lower than most states – and rose by Rs 3.50 elsewhere after government hikes prices for the second time in May on Thursday, although senior government officials have ruled out restoring subsidies for now.
After the latest increase, a 14.2kg refill will cost Rs 1,003 in Delhi, Rs 1,002 in Mumbai, Rs 1,029 in Kolkata and Rs 1,018 in Chennai. Fares vary by a few rupees within this range in other states due to the difference in local levies.
LPG tariffs were last raised by Rs 50 each on May 7, pushing consumer prices for refills past Rs 1,000 in most of the country when it was only at 50 paise mark in delhi.
The latest increase is the third since March 22 this year. While not a substantial leap, the latest revision will heighten the sense of agony among consumers already grappling with the high cost of transportation fuels, edible oils and other condiments.
The government had removed the LPG subsidy since May 2020, taking advantage of the fall in global energy prices due to the pandemic, but is in no mood to restore support as the cost of refills has reached levels record.
“International LPG prices jumped 37% in one month, while domestic (cylinder) prices rose 11%. Subsidies are not good economically and cannot last forever. They must have a downward curve and an expiration date. Otherwise, we will end up in a situation – like it is happening in Sri Lanka – where we have no money to provide fuel to people,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
He insisted that the government is subsidizing the needy and providing relief by providing three free LPG bottles during the pandemic and continuing the free supply of food grains under Prime Minister Garib Kalayan’s scheme, while the Vaccination is provided free of charge.
“What are the three free LPG bottles during the pandemic granted to Ujjwala connection holders (a program providing free connection for poor households) if not a subsidy? You have to realize that the money is also needed for other social protection programs and vaccination,” the person said.
Domestic LPG prices have remained stable since October 6, 2021, when prices were increased by 15 rupees per bottle. The freeze was lifted on March 22 when prices were increased by Rs 50. Domestic LPG price stood at Rs 714 on January 1, 2020 in Delhi. It rose to Rs 858 in February that year but then fell twice but remained northbound until freezing in October 20201.



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