New Delhi, March 2: The Congress on Tuesday demanded that the Centre should immediately reduce the domestic LPG and fuel prices to the level at which they stood at under the UPA government, asserting that international prices of these commodities are presently much lower than at the time of its rule.
Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said despite opposition by the common people, there has been a steep rise of Rs 125 within a month in the prices of subsidised, non-subsidised and Ujjwala Yojana gas cylinder.
After ending of subsidy on cooking gas, the CNG-PNG gas prices have now been increased, bringing the anti-poor and anti-middle class face of the Narendra Modi government to the fore and it is a living example of the prime minister’s arrogance, Surjewala said in a statement.
“Today the international prices of LPG gas and crude oil are much lower than the time of Congress, so our clear demand is that the prices of subsidised LPG gas, petrol, diesel, CNG, PNG gas be immediately reduced and brought back to the level at which they existed during the Congress government,” he said.
“The international price of LPG in the UPA government was USD 885.2 and 880.5 in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 respectively, but the UPA government would buy LPG at an expensive price and give a huge subsidy to the general public making it available for them at a price of Rs 399-414 per cylinder,” the Congress spokesperson said.
The UPA government used to buy LPG at an international price which is more than 50 percent of the present price but gave it to the people at half the price at which they are getting by giving a huge subsidy, he said.
Cooking gas LPG price was on Monday hiked by Rs 25 per cylinder across all categories, including subsidised fuel and those availed by Ujjwala scheme beneficiaries – the fourth increase in rates in a month’s time.
LPG prices have gone up by Rs 125 per 14.2-kg cylinder since the beginning of February, price data from state-owned oil marketing companies showed.
Also, jet fuel prices were hiked by a steep 6.5 per cent on the back of a rally in international oil prices. A 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi now costs Rs 819 as against Rs 794 at which they were supplied on Sunday.
LPG is available only at one rate, market price, across the country but the government gives a small subsidy to select customers.
However, this subsidy has been eliminated in metros and major cities through successive price increases over the last couple of years. So, in places like Delhi, there is no subsidy paid to customers since May 2020 and all LPG users pay the market price, which currently is Rs 819. (PTI)