A day after the railway fare was increased, the Centre on Wednesday (January 1) increased the non-subsidised cooking gas or LPG price by ₹19 per cylinder on the back of a rise in international rates. Simultaneously, the price of Aviation Turbine Fuel, used to power aeroplanes, was also increased by 2.6%.
Oil companies have raised the price of non-subsidised LPG to ₹714 per 14.2-kg cylinder from ₹695. This is the fifth straight monthly increase in cooking gas prices since September 2019. In all, non-subsidised cooking gas prices have gone up by ₹139.50 per cylinder in the last five months.
Non-subsidised LPG is the gas that consumers buy after exhausting their quota of 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg at sub-market or subsidised rates of ₹495.86. LPG, as well as ATF prices, are revised on 1st of every month based on the average international rate for benchmark fuel and foreign exchange rate in the preceding month.
Also, the price of kerosene sold through the public distribution system (PDS) was increased by 26 paise to ₹35.58 per litre in Mumbai. This is in accordance with the 2016 decision to raise rates by 25 paise a litre every month till subsidy on the fuel is eliminated. Delhi has been declared kerosene-free and no PDS kerosene is sold in the national capital.
The price of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), used to power aeroplanes, was raised by ₹1,637.25 per kilolitre, or 2.6%, to ₹64,323.76 per kilolitre in Delhi, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
In India, which is dependent on imports to meet 84 per cent of its oil needs, prices of domestic fuels are at par with benchmark international prices.
ATF price was on December 1 increased by a marginal ₹13.88 per kl. The two back-to-back increases have push jet fuel prices to their highest since June 2019.
The hike will add to the burden of cash strapped airlines that are already reeling under pressure from cut-throat competition in the sector.
Despite the increase, at ₹64.32 per litre ATF costs less than petrol and diesel. A litre of petrol in the national capital comes for ₹75.14 while diesel is priced at ₹67.96 a litre.
Oppositions slams Center, calls it govt’s New Year gift
Congress and CPI(M) slammed the BJP government for increasing the LPG price. Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev said the hike comes at a time when the economy is in shambles. Question is when will the travesty going to end, Dev asked, asserting that the hike was “injustice towards the poor people”. “Is this a fair new years gift to the common man, Congress thinks it is not,” she said.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday slammed the government over the hike in train fares and the increase in cost of LPG cylinders. The government on December 31, raised train fares marginally by one paise to four paise per kilometer depending on the travel class. It also hiked LPG cylinder rates by ₹19 per cylinder.
“Modi govt starts the year. After railway passenger fare hikes, another attack on peoples livelihoods. All this in the wake of sharp job losses, food price inflation and record fall in rural wages,” Yechury tweeted. In another tweet, Yechury called the rail fare hike, “New year gift from the Modi government.”.
(With inputs from agencies)