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NEW DELHI: A day after Delhi assembly election results, state-run fuel retailers on Wednesday raised domestic cooking gas refill price by Rs 144.50, the steepest hike since January 2014. LPG prices are usually revised on the first of every month.
A non-subsidised 14.2kg cylinder will now cost Rs 896 in Kolkata, Rs 881 in Chennai. Rs 858.50 in New Delhi and Rs 829.50 in Mumbai. The government, however, effected a matching increase in subsidy – from Rs 153.86 per cylinder to Rs 291.48. The subsidy for connections under Ujjwala scheme increased from Rs 174.86 to Rs 312.48 per cylinder.
The move immediately drew flak from Congress, BSP chief Mayawati and Trinamool Congress. The general refrain of their criticism was that higher refill price, even with increased subsidy, would hit consumers as they have to first make the full payment and then wait for the subsidy. Paying such hefty price at one go may be difficult for poor households and act as a disincentive.
Subsidised refill price was raised to Rs 858.50 each from Rs 714, marking the steepest increase since January 2014 when the price had gone up by Rs 220 per cylinder to Rs 1,241. Simultaneously, the subsidy was also increased from Rs 153.86 per cylinder to Rs 291.48, industry officials said. The subsidy for connections given under the Ujjwala scheme was increased from Rs 174.86 to Rs 312.48 per cylinder.
After accounting for the subsidy, consumers will finally pay Rs 567.02 and Ujjwala beneficiaries Rs 546.02.
Prices of subsidised and open market LPG sales are revised on first day of the month. This time, it was held back for the Delhi election. Since the Centre controls the price of subsidised LPG, the timing of the latest hike has prompted talk of BJP’s effort to avoid giving the opposition a handle against the party before the Delhi polls.

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