Commercial cylinder prices slashed by Rs 158, LPG exempted from agri cess

LPG cylinders. File photo: Reuters

Kochi: Days after the Centre slashed prices of domestic LPG cylinders, oil marketing companies on Friday reduced the price of commercial cylinders in the country. The price of 19kg commercial LPG cylinders were cut by Rs 158. The new price of a commercial cylinder in Kochi is Rs 1,537.5.

Monthly revisions for both commercial and domestic LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cylinders occur on the first day of each month, with the new rates becoming effective from September 1. The Union government on Tuesday announced a Rs 200 per cylinder cut in prices of domestic cooking gas to soften the impact of rising inflation on households.

The Congress party has been using high LPG prices as a major election issue after cooking gas prices shot up in the last couple of years.

Exemption from agri cess

Meanwhile, the government has exempted imports of LPG, liquified propane and liquified butane from 15 per cent agri cess with effect from Friday.

The government had in July imposed a 15 per cent agri cess on imports of these goods.

The Finance Ministry in a notification said that imports of LPG, liquified propane and liquified butane have been fully exempted from Agriculture Infrastructure Development cess (AIDC) effective September 1.  

The government in June 2020 stopped giving LPG subsidies. Cooking gas across the country was priced at market rate.

The only subsidy that was available was for poor women who got free connections under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. The government gave Rs 200 per cylinder subsidy for up to 12 refills in a year. This subsidy was transferred into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries, who bought LPG at market price from the dealer.

The government in October 2022 provided a one-time grant of Rs 22,000 crore to oil companies to cover for the losses they had incurred on selling LPG at below cost in the previous two years.

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