Calcutta, Oct. 1: Domestic consumers in Bengal will have to pay Rs 913 for every non-subsidised 14.2kg cooking gas cylinder, according to a notification issued by oil companies this evening.
The price, which will apply to cylinders above the annual quota of six, is higher than initially estimated because of a rise in global prices over the past month, a source in the Indian Oil Corporation said.
When the Centre had announced the quota, it was assumed that non-subsidised domestic LPG cylinders would be priced between Rs 780 and Rs 830 against the subsidised price of Rs 401 apiece.
The notified price would have been higher than Rs 913 had the central and state governments not forgone additional levies that are usually charged on non-subsidised commercial cylinders.
The consumers are entitled to three subsidised cylinders for the remaining part of this financial year.
The notification has created a non-subsidised category for hospitals and school mid-day meals — a step that is certain to stoke controversy. In the new category, schools and hospitals may have to pay Rs 1,100 for a cylinder (the final figure is still being worked out), against the Rs 401 they have been paying till now.
The HRD ministry had written to the petroleum ministry to exempt the mid-day meal scheme schools from the six-cylinder cap. Kapil Sibal is expected to step in.
The cost of the mid-day meal scheme, covering 12 lakh elementary schools, will go up by Rs 652 crore a year if the cap is applied, an HRD ministry source said.
The price of commercial LPG has been increased from Rs 1,403 to Rs 1,598 a 19kg cylinder.
The cascading effect is telling on LPG used by autorickshaws, too. The price of LPG, which all autos in Calcutta are supposed to use, has been increased by Rs 4.57 a litre to Rs 50.25 a litre from today.
The hike is expected to prompt auto operators to demand a higher fare from commuters.