'New Year's gift': LPG prices hiked for fifth straight month
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder prices were hiked for the fifth consecutive month on Wednesday. With this latest hike, non-subsidized LPG cylinders will now be sold at Rs. 714 in Delhi, Rs. 19 up from the rate in December. Prices of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) or jet fuel were also hiked by 2.6% on Wednesday. Here are more details.
In Kolkata, LPG rates hiked by Rs. 21.5
According to Indian Oil Corporation, which retails Indane LPG cylinders, the LPG rates were hiked by Rs. 19 to Rs. 714 per cylinder in Delhi, effective January 1, 2020. In Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai, the prices were raised by Rs. 19.5 (total unsubsidized rate: Rs. 684.50 per cylinder), Rs. 21.5 (Rs. 747 per cylinder), and Rs. 20 (Rs. 734 per cylinder).
Since August, LPG rates hiked by 25%
This marks a hike in LPG rates for the fifth consecutive month. Since August, LPG cylinder prices have been raised by a cumulative Rs. 139.5 per cylinder in Delhi, a hike of 24.28%, and Rs. 138 per cylinder in Mumbai, a 25.25% hike.
Why were the LPG rates hiked?
The government revises LPG rates on the first of every month on the basis of the average international rate for benchmark fuel and foreign exchange rate in the month before. The repeated price hikes since August are due to the increase in prices in the international market. Notably, 84% of India's oil needs are met by imports.
Government subsidizes 12 cylinders per household in a year
The government has been providing increased subsidy to match the repeated price hikes via the direct benefit transfer scheme. Consumers are offered LPG cylinders at subsidized rates of Rs. 495.86 per 14.2-kg cylinder for 12 cylinders per household in a year.
Jet fuel price hiked by 2.6%
Separately, the prices for Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) was also hiked by 2.6% on Wednesday. ATF prices were by Rs 1,637.25 per kiloliter to Rs 64,323.76 per kiloliter in Delhi, a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers stated. Jet fuel prices were raised for the second consecutive month, taking rates to their highest since June 2019.
Opposition slams Centre for LPG price hike
Amid the LPG price hike, the Aam Aadmi Party took a swipe at the Centre in a sarcastic tweet: "LPG price hiked by Rs.19 by Prakash Javdekar and his party. Credit where it's due." Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also tweeted, "Modi government's first expensive New Year's gift." CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury also criticized the LPG price hike and the Railways price hike.