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CIMA Gallary

Cooking gas price goes up again

Oct. 6: Domestic cooking gas will cost Rs 412.42 per subsidised cylinder and Rs 925.17 per non-subsidised one in Calcutta and nearby areas such as Salt Lake and Howrah from tomorrow, with the Centre today raising the dealers’ commission.

The price rise is Rs 11.42 for subsidised cylinders and Rs 12.17 for non-subsidised ones. The price of 14.2kg LPG cylinders sold to schools for midday meals and hospitals will be Rs 1,122 in Calcutta and its neighbourhood, unless the Centre works out some relief.

The hike comes weeks after the government capped the number of subsidised LPG cylinders per household to six a year.

The petroleum ministry also plans to raise the dealers’ commissions on petrol and diesel by 23 paise and 10 paise respectively, sources said without mentioning any date.

The government had last increased the LPG dealers’ commission — by Rs 3.80 a cylinder — in July 2011. Now, the commission has risen to Rs 37.25 per subsidised cylinder following a Rs 11.42 or 44 per cent hike. For non-subsidised cylinders, the commission is Rs 38 — a hike of Rs 12.17.

“The dealers’ commission may seem massive but we had been seeking a revision since last year. The increase is marginal compared with the increased transportation cost,” said P.N. Seth, general secretary of the All India LPG Distributors Federation.

Mamata Banerjee reacted on her Facebook page, posting: “Do you know, how many times prices have been increased, affecting the interest of the common people during UPA-II?... Today again, Central Government has hiked LPG prices by Rs 11.42 per cylinder. Very bad, very sad...”

This has been the second hike in a week in the price of non-subsidised domestic LPG cylinders, but for different reasons.

When the Centre had announced the subsidised cylinder quota of six, it was assumed that non-subsidised cylinders would be priced between Rs 780 and Rs 830, but a rise in global prices in September prompted oil companies to raise the price to Rs 913 on Monday.

The latest price of non-subsidised domestic LPG, worked out on the basis of the previous month’s average global price, will continue to apply till October 31, an oil marketing company official said.

Energy analysts and LPG dealers said the price of a non-subsidised cylinder could rise during the winter months and fall during the summer, when global demand weakens.

The average monthly price of Arab Gulf LPG jumped more than 21 per cent from $767.12 per tonne in August to $933.08 in September. Price trend data for the past one year indicate that Arab Gulf LPG prices peaked to $1,230 per tonne in March and fell to a low of $575 in July.

However, an energy analyst said the price movement in the past one year was affected by political factors and so no “realistic conclusion” could be drawn from it about the volume of future fluctuations.