LPG HIKE ONLY FOR 1% CONSUMERS
Days after the price of non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) was hiked by Rs 16.50 per cylinder, the government today said the increase will impact less than 1 per cent of the consumers. The price of non-subsidised LPG, which customers buy after using up their quota of 12 subsidised cylinders, was raised to Rs 922.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi on July 1, the first hike in six months. "More than 99 per cent customers use less than 12 cylinders per year and thus will remain unaffected by this hike. This price increase will affect only less than 1 per cent of consumers who consume more than 12 cylinders per annum," an official statement said here today. While the price of subsidised LPG cylinder remains unchanged at Rs 414 per bottle, oil companies revise non-subsidised cooking gas rates every month in step with the cost of production. The Iraq crisis led to oil prices hardening globally and depreciation of the rupee, making imports costlier. Non-subsidised LPG prices had been declining since February, when the rate was cut by Rs 107 to Rs 1,134 per cylinder. The price was reduced by Rs 53.50 to Rs 1,080.50 per cylinder in March, by Rs 100 to Rs 980.50 in April, by Rs 52 in May and by Rs 23.50 last month. The price went up by one rupee last month after freight rates were increased. The oil ministry says the loss for state-owned oil firms on the sale of every subsidised cylinder is Rs 449, compared with Rs 432.71 in the previous month and Rs 762.50 in January. Oil marketing companies revise rates of non-subsidised domestic LPG cylinders in accordance with international prices, the statement said.