Price of domestic cooking gas, LPG has doubled to Rs 819 per cylinder in the last seven years while the increase in taxes on petrol and diesel has fattened collections by over 459 per cent, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in Parliament.
In written replies to a spate of questions on rising fuel prices in the Lok Sabha, Pradhan said the retail selling price of domestic gas was Rs 410.5 per 14.2-kg cylinder on 1 March, 2014. This month, the same cylinder costs Rs 819.
Small price hikes over the past couple of years have eliminated subsidy on cooking gas as well as PDS kerosene. Pradhan said the price of domestic subsidised LPG has been raised during the last few months. It cost Rs 594 per cylinder in December 2020 and now is priced at Rs 819.
Similarly, kerosene sold to the poor through the public distribution system (PDS) has risen from Rs 14.96 per litre in March 2014 to Rs 35.35 this month, he said.
Petrol and diesel prices too are at an all-time high across the country. The rates, which vary from state to state depending on local sales tax (VAT), are currently ruling around Rs 95 plus a litre for petrol and Rs 85 plus a litre for diesel.
With taxes accounting for the bulk of the retail selling price of petrol and diesel, the minister said tax collected on the two fuels was Rs 52,537 crore in 2013, which rose to Rs 2.13 lakh crore in 2019-20 and swelled further to Rs 2.94 lakh crore in the first 11 months of current fiscal year.
The government currently levies Rs 32.90 per litre excise duty on petrol and Rs 31.80 a litre on diesel, he said adding that excise duty on petrol was Rs 17.98 a litre in 2018 and Rs 13.83 on diesel.
Pradhan said the central government’s total excise collection from petrol, diesel, aviation turbine fuel (ATF), natural gas and crude oil has increased from Rs 2.37 lakh crore in 2016-17 to Rs 3.01 lakh crore during April-January 2020-21.