LPG prices in major cities were revised twice this month rather than the regular practice of oil marketing companies to upgrade rates once at the start of the month. As per IOCL's website, LPG cylinders are now Rs 100 higher than they used to be in the previous month.
On 1 December, rates for 14.2 kg cylinders were raised by Rs 50 to Rs 644 in New Delhi, Rs 670.5 in Kolkata, Rs 644 in Mumbai and Rs 660 in Chennai. However, from 15 December, the rates have been hiked by another Rs 50 to Rs 694 in New Delhi, Rs 720.5 in Kolkata, Rs 694 and Rs 710 in Chennai.
The total surge is Rs 100 in December comes after 5 months of stagnancy.
Households in India are allowed a maximum of 12 LPG cylinder purchases per year at subsidised rates, however, there have been several complaints of consumers not receiving subsidy in their bank accounts since May.
Cylinders have to be bought at full price at the time of purchase, and the subsidy is then credited to the customer's bank account by the government. However, most customers have not received subsidies since May, as the combination of international oil price collapse and domestic refill rate increase diminished the gap between subsidised and market rates.
Talking about the sudden and hefty hike in LPG cylinder prices, an oil industry source told The Hindu that for the past six months, LPG prices had been retained with very minimal changes despite very high international prices. "The government did not want to burden consumers during the lockdown," he said.