New Delhi, Apr 02, 2018 : At a time when soaring prices of petrol, diesel, CNG and PNG has sent household budget into a spin, oil companies provided relief to some extent by cutting prices of non-subsidised LPG cylinders by Rs 35.50.
The price cut is the second in less than a month after a reduction in international pricing early March had led to a similar fall. The latest cut by oil companies, however, extends to commercial cylinders. A 19-kilo commercial cylinder will now cost Rs 54 less while a small 5-kilo cylinder has also received a cut of Rs 15.
Every household in the country is entitled to have 12 LPG cylinders of 14.2 kg each at subsidised rates in a year. Any requirement beyond that is to be purchased at market price (non-subsidised LPG rates).
3 crore new free LPG connections by March 2020
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in February had said that as many as 3 crore additional free cooking gas (LPG) connections will be given to poor households by March 2020 under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) scheme for which the government will have to bear an extra expense of Rs 4,800 crore.
PMUY was launched in May 2016 with a target to give 5 crore LPG connections to poor women in three years out of which 3.36 crore connections have been given.
Pradhan said the 5 crore connections were to be given by 2018-19 fiscal year end and total Budgetary allocation made was Rs 8,000 crore.
Now, the scheme has been extended by one year and 3 crore more connections are to be given for which Rs 4,800 crore has been provided, he added.
Under the scheme, the government provides a subsidy of Rs 1,600 to state-owned fuel retailers for every free LPG gas connection that they install in poor rural households. This subsidy is intended to cover the security fee for the cylinder and the fitting charges. The beneficiary has to buy her own cooking stove.
To reduce the burden, the scheme allows beneficiaries to pay for the stove and the first refill in monthly instalments. However, the cost of all subsequent refills has to be borne by the beneficiary household.