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Domestic cooking gas prices cut

Photo: HT  (Sanjeev Verma/HT)Premium
Photo: HT (Sanjeev Verma/HT)

  • Effective 1 April, the price of a 14.2 kg non-subsidized Indane LPG cylinder in Delhi has been reduced by 10 to 809
  • While there was a sharp jump in global energy prices after the Opec-plus grouping decided to continue with supply curbs, the prices since then have been tempered

New Delhi: State run fuel retailers have reduced India’ domestic cooking gas prices in the backdrop of assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry.

Effective 1 April, the price of a 14.2 kg non-subsidized Indane liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder in Delhi has been reduced by 10 to 809. This price reduction follows after prices were increased by 25 per cylinder to 819 from 1 March.

“The same reduction has been carried out in other markets," state run Indian Oil Corporation said in a statement on Wednesday.

Fuel retailers revise prices of LPG cylinders, which is primarily dependent on the international benchmark rate of LPG, and the US dollar and rupee exchange rate. The finance ministry has also slashed the allocation for petroleum subsidy by two-thirds to 12,995 crore for FY22.

This also comes at a time of transportation fuel prices being at record highs. Fuel prices in India have been historically subdued during the elections, with three government-run oil marketing companies—Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL)—refraining from raising prices. The state-run OMCs and the government have maintained that there is no correlation between elections and transportation fuel price freeze or reductions.

The IOC statement said, “due to growing worries about rising Covid-19 cases in Europe and Asia and concerns over the side effects of the vaccine, prices of crude oil and petroleum product in the international market softened in the second fortnight of March 2021."

While there was a sharp jump in global energy prices after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec)-plus grouping decided to continue with supply curbs, the prices since then have been tempered. This is on account of opening of the Suez Canal and growing concerns over lockdowns to contain the increasing number of coronavirus cases.

“Accordingly, Oil Companies have reduced the Retail Selling Price (RSP) of Diesel and Petrol by 60 paise per litre and 61 paise per litre respectively at Delhi market over the past few days. There was a corresponding reduction in prices at other markets during this period," the statement added.

The cost of the Indian basket of crude, which comprises Oman, Dubai and Brent crude, was at $63.78 a barrel on 30 March. Following the covid outbreak, crude prices for Indian basket of crude had plunged to $19.90 in April before recovering to $61.22 a barrel in February, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed. It averaged at $56.43, $69.88 and $60.47 per barrel in FY18, FY19 and FY20, respectively.

“Prices of crude oil and petroleum products in the international market have been on a constant uptrend since November 2020. As India is largely import-dependent on crude oil and the prices are market-linked, the increase in international prices resulted in increase in the domestic price of petroleum products," the statement said.

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