New Delhi: In a move that has added to the woes of the common man, oil marketing companies have hiked the prices of commercial LPG cylinders by Rs 14 in all four metros of the country, just a few hours before the Interim Budget 2024 is to be presented on Thursday, February 1. The revised prices of commercial cooking gas (LPG) cylinders (19 kg) have come into effect from today, making it more expensive for businesses that rely on this fuel source, particularly restaurants, hotels, and manufacturing industries.
The surge in commercial LPG cylinder prices carries far-reaching economic implications. It directly impacts the profitability and competitiveness of these sectors, which are already reeling under the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns. Moreover, it may also lead to a rise in the prices of food and other essential commodities, affecting the household budgets of millions of consumers.
While commercial LPG cylinder prices have been increased, there has been no change in the price of domestic LPG cylinders for the sixth consecutive time. The last revision in the price of domestic LPG cylinders was seen on August 30, 2023, when it was reduced by Rs 10. The government has blamed the rise in international rates for the spike in prices of LPG in India. The surge could push it to resume paying the subsidy on cooking gas, which was stopped after global prices fell when the pandemic began to take hold⁷.
The current prices of LPG cylinders (both commercial and domestic) in the four metros of the country are as follows:
|Commercial LPG cylinder (19 kg)
|Domestic LPG cylinder (14.2 kg)
It is important to note that petroleum companies review the prices of LPG, ATF kerosene oil etc. on the first day of every new month and make necessary changes in them based on the international market conditions and the exchange rate of the rupee. Commercial LPG gas is mainly used by businesses and institutions that require large quantities of cooking gas. The size of this cylinder is also bigger than the domestic one. While 14.2 kg of gas is filled in a domestic gas cylinder, 19 kg of LPG gas is filled in a commercial gas cylinder.
The Interim Budget 2024, which will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at 11 am today, is expected to offer insights into the government’s financial priorities, with a full-fledged budget scheduled post-elections in July. There are expectations that the finance minister will make certain key tax announcements, and it will be interesting to see if the budget includes any measures to provide relief to the consumers and businesses affected by the rising fuel prices.