After setting a limit of six subsidised liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders annually per household late last month, the petroleum ministry has again made cooking a more expensive proposition for the common man.
Additional cylinders, which would have to be sourced at market rates, also have become dearer.
Effective from Saturday, the price of subsidised LPG cylinders has been hiked by Rs. 11.42 per cylinder, following orders by the ministry to raise the commission paid to dealers from Rs. 25.83 per 14.2-kg cylinder to Rs. 37.25, government officials said. The added expense will be passed on to the consumer.
Subsidised LPG in Delhi will now cost Rs. 410.42 per cylinder, up from Rs. 399. In Kolkata, the new price is Rs. 412.42, in Mumbai Rs. 434.42 and in Chennai Rs. 397.92.
The Rs. 11.42 or 44% commission increase per cylinder is sure to further burden an already overstretched average household budget.
Petrol and diesel prices will also go up marginally as the petroleum ministry is considering increasing dealer commission by at least 23 paise and 10 paise per litre, respectively.
Even the commission on market price or non-subsidised LPG has been raised by Rs. 12.17 to Rs. 38 per cylinder.
Accordingly, a non-subsidised LPG cylinder price will go up from Rs. 883.5 to Rs. 921.5.The government has also raised commission paid on 5-kg cylinders by Rs. 5.33 to Rs. 18.63.
The officials confirmed a similar move is underway to raise commission to petrol-pump dealers on the sale of petrol and diesel.
"The ministry proposes to raise commission paid on petrol by 23 paise to Rs. 1.72 and that on diesel by 10 paise to Rs. 1.01 per litre," they said.
The hike being considered for petrol and diesel is less than 67 paise and 42 paise, respectively, demanded by petrol-pump dealers due to increase in working capital costs.
Currently, petrol pump dealers get Rs. 1.49 per litre as commission on the sale of petrol and 91 paise per litre on diesel.
Pump operators have demanded that the commission be raised to Rs. 2.10 per litre on petrol and Rs. 1.33 per litre on diesel.
"If our operating costs calculation of 67 paise for petrol and 42 paise for diesel are not met, we will discuss the issue with our managing committee and declare a protest next week," Ajay Bansal, general secretary of Federation of All India Petroleum Traders, told HT.