Households getting cooking gas through pipelines will have to surrender the subsidised liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections, Petroleum minister Murli Deora told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
“[The] government has conveyed approval to the public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) to formulate a scheme for surrendering LPG connection by a customer who is being supplied piped natural gas,” Deora said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
“OMCs are in the process of finalising the scheme.”
Currently, supplies of piped gas are restricted to three states — Maharashtra, Delhi and some cities of Gujarat. Supplies in Maharashtra are made by Mahanagar Gas, in Delhi by Indraprastha Gas and in Gujarat by Gujarat Gas — all state-owned firms.
However, with the increased availability of natural gas in the country, the government plans to supply piped natural gas (PNG) to other cities.
Petroleum ministry officials said the PNG being supplied is 18 per cent cheaper than the subsidised LPG. This means that as against Rs 312 that a Mumbaiite pays for a 14.2 kg LPG cylinder, he pays Rs 204 for an equivalent amount of gas flowing through pipes.
If the customers of PNG are also made to retain subsidised LPG connections, they will enjoy double subsidies, but the taxpayers have to bear the cost. So, PNG consumers will have to let go of the LPG connections.
The officials also clarified that if an PNG customer still needs LPG, he can be supplied one but at the market price, which is Rs 200 more than the subsidised LPG cylinder price.
Dealers in Mumbai have, however, not been notified yet.