Cooking Gas prices may see monthly revision to contain subsidy
Consumers of subsidised cooking gas may have to pay more for buying domestic LPG cylinders as the government is exploring the option to allow state-run oil companies to raise its price every month to reduce the oil subsidy burden that has almost doubled this month.
 
Sources said that though quantum of increase in price of subsidised cooking gas has not been worked out, it could be in the range of Rs 4-5 per cylinder per month. This is similar to the practice adopted by state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) in 2016-2017 of regularly increasing the price of a LPG cylinder by Rs 2 initially and Rs 4 later.
 
The practice was phased out in October 2017 over stiff opposition to the move and the understanding that it worked contrary to Ujjwala scheme of providing free cooking gas connections to the poor.
 
"The need for revising the price of domestic cooking gas is stronger this year than ever before as the subsidy per cylinder has doubled with effect from February. If the current price trend holds in FY20-21, it could jack up the government's LPG subsidy bill from Rs35,605 crore estimated in the Budget," said an official source privy to the development.
 
Executives of the oil companies expressed ignorance about any plan to raise LPG cylinder prices at regular intervals from FY20-21 but said that decisions were taken this year as well to increase cooking gas price in line with changes in the government support per cylinder. Brokerage reports suggest that during July 2019-January 2020, the OMCs increased the price of subsidised LPG by Rs 63 per cylinder at the rate of Rs 9 per month.
 
Though the quantum increase in gas prices may not pinch the consumers, it would gradually reduce government subsidy provided to them directly into their accounts.
 
Every household is entitled to 12 cylinders of 14.2 kg each at subsidised rates in a year. Any requirement beyond that is to be purchased at market price. If the decision to raise subsidised LPG prices is taken, the burden will shift even to the 12 cylinders.
 
The prevailing low demand conditions and resultant low oil prices are expected to act as a cushion to the government from overshooting its oil subsidy bill in FY20-21. Oil is projected to remain in $55-65 band in FY20-21. This would keep even product prices under check, thereby keeping the subsidy outgo lower. The situation could also mean that LPG prices may fall in coming months.
 
If that happens, the government subsidy per cylinder may once again fall, negating any need for a regular revision in cooking gas prices.
 
Sources said that regular revision may not just be going for monthly increase but it could be quarterly or depending on the actual need as was done in last year as well.
 
Lower oil and product prices may once again help the government to eliminate oil subsidy that is one of the goals set by the Oil Ministry earlier.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Govt proposes jail term for ads promoting magic remedies
    The Health and Family Welfare Ministry has proposed the draft amendment to the Drugs and magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements Act, 1954), with a stringent punishment of a jail term of up to five years and a fine of up to Rs 50 lakh for advertisements for magic remedies and drugs for fair skin, enhancing sexual performance, stammering, infertility in women, premature ageing and greying, increasing brain capacity among others.
     
    The draft amendment has made several additions to the list of diseases, disorders, conditions covered in the Act. The Act says that medicines, "magic remedies" and products to cure any of these 78 diseases, disorders, conditions named should not be advertised.
     
    The new additions include ads for drugs or treatment for enhancing sexual performance, sexual impotence, premature ejaculation and spermatorrhoea, fairness of skin, premature ageing, AIDS, improvement of memory, improvement in height of kids/adults, improvement in size of sexual organ, duration of sexual performance, premature graying of hair, stammering, sterility in women, disorders of menstrual flow hysteria, power to rejuvenate, obesity, maintenance or improvement of the capacity of the human being for sexual pleasure, improvement in size and shape of the sexual organ and in duration of sexual performance, insanity, increase in brain capacity and improvement of memory and improvement in height of children/adults.
     
    Under the Act, the first conviction is punishable with imprisonment of up to six months or fine or both; and a subsequent conviction can result in imprisonment of up to a year or fine, or both.
     
    The amendment proposes to increase the penalties. For the first conviction, the proposed punishment is imprisonment of up to two years and fine up to Rs 10 lakh. For subsequent conviction, the imprisonment may extend to five years with a fine of up to Rs 50 lakh.
     
    The Ministry said the amendment is being made in order to keep pace with changing time and technology. It has been decided to solicit suggestions/comments/objections from the public/ stakeholders with regard to the said draft Bill. The suggestions/comments/objections may be forwarded within 45 days from the date of issue of this notice.
     
    The draft bill also proposes an expansion of definition of an advertisement. It says, "any audio or visual publicity, representation, endorsement or pronouncement made by means of light, sound, smoke, gas, print, electronic media, internet or website and includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper, invoice, banner, poster or such other documents.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
     
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    COMMENTS

    Newme

    2 months ago

    Guess we need to put BJP CONGRESS in jail for their election promises.

    Centre probing predatory pricing complaints in e-commerce
    The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Commerce Ministry is examining complaints alleging predatory pricing and excessive discounts on e-commerce platforms, Parliament was informed on Thursday.
     
    "Representations have been received in this Department alleging that some e-commerce platforms are engaged in predatory pricing and are providing excessive discounts," Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
     
    "The extant Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy on e-commerce sector, inter-alia, specifies that e-commerce marketplaces will not directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods or services and shall maintain a level playing field. These representations are under examination," he said.
     
    Goyal also said that e-commerce companies having foreign investment can operate only a marketplace model and there are restrictions on the inventory based model of e-commerce.
     
    He noted that services should be provided by the e-commerce marketplace entity, or other entities in which the e-commerce entity has direct or indirect equity participation or common control, to vendors on the platform at arm's length and in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.
     
    "Such services will include but not limited to fulfilment, logistics, warehousing, advertisement/marketing, payments, financing, among others," he said.
     
    Cash back provided by group companies of the marketplace entity to buyers shall be fair and non-discriminatory, he added.
     
    According to Goyal, for the purposes of this clause, provision of services to any vendor on such terms which are not made available to other vendors in similar circumstances will be deemed unfair and discriminatory. Moreoever, if any violation is reported necessary action may be taken by the competent authority.
     
    The Competition Commission of India had in January ordered an enquiry into the operations of both Amazon and Flipkart on multiple counts, including deep discounts and exclusive tie-ups with preferred sellers.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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