The Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, on Tuesday, approved an increase in the one-time security deposit on cooking gas cylinder for those seeking new connections.
Security deposit on domestic (14.2 kg) cylinder has been increased from Rs.900 to Rs.1,150 for those seeking new connection in the North Eastern States, and by Rs.200 to Rs.1,450 in the rest of the country.
The move comes even as households struggle to come to terms with the cap on subsidised liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders and hike in the price of the refills following an upward revision in the commission paid to distributors.
The hike in security deposit is a sequel to a demand from oil marketing companies. A communication from the Ministry said the “matter has been examined in the Ministry … [decided] to convey the approval of the Ministry for increasing the security deposit.”
The increase, applicable to new customers of IOC, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum, comes into effect from October 9.
With the hike, those seeking a new, single cylinder Indane connection will have to pay a total of little over Rs.2,500. Besides the security deposit, other components are: Rs.150 as security deposit for the pressure regulator, Rs.170 for the Surkasha tube, and Rs.45 each for the blue (consumer) book and administrative charges. The cost of the 14.2 kg LPG cylinder in Chennai is Rs.398. If the consumer has a stove, an inspection charge of Rs.250 would be collected.
The increase in the security deposit comes at a time when there is a temporary hold on issue of new connections by the oil companies as part of their exercise to eliminate multiple connections. The exercise, under way to curb misuse of the subsidy, is aimed at ensuring that no kitchen has more than one connection (a maximum of two cylinders). Those having multiple connections are required to surrender additional connections. To ensure them do so, oil companies are blocking all such connections and not issuing refills until the additional connection is surrendered.
Sources said new connections had been stopped to prevent customers, whose connections are blocked, from obtaining a fresh one from another oil company.