In a move that is likely to have a spiralling impact on the cost of travel for the common man, public transport and other related areas, Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) on Thursday announced a steep hike of Rs. 4.50 paise per Kg in the price of compressed natural gas (CNG), the second successive hike in three months.
In a related move that could hurt the household budgets, IGL also hiked the price of cooking piped gas to kitchens by Rs. 5.15 per Kg with effect from Thursday midnight. Under the new pricing regime, CNG will cost Rs. 50.10 per Kg in Delhi and Rs. 56.70 per Kg in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad, IGL said in a statement in New Delhi.
The price of piped natural gas (PNG) to the households in Delhi is being revised from Rs. 27.50 per standard cubic metre to Rs. 29.50 per scm up to consumption of 30 scm in two months. Beyond consumption of 30 scm in two months, the applicable rate in Delhi would be Rs. 52 per scm. Due to differential tax structure in Uttar Pradesh, the applicable price of domestic PNG to households in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad would be Rs. 31 per scm up to consumption of 30 scm in two months, which has been increased from existing Rs. 29 per scm. Beyond consumption of 30 scm in two months, the rate applicable in these cities would be Rs. 54 per scm.
CNG price was last revised in September when it was hiked by a hefty Rs. 3.70 per kg. Price of CNG sold to automobiles in Delhi then increased from Rs. 41.90 to Rs. 45.60 per kg. Also at that time, the price of piped cooking gas, called PNG, for households has been hiked from Rs. 24.50 per scm to Rs. 27.50 per scm.
The statement said the increase was primarily due to increase in input cost as a result of reallocation of domestically produced gas quantities by the government for all city gas distribution companies across the country. “There has been a reduction in allocation of APM gas to us, which is forcing us to source more quantity of market priced imported R-LNG, whose prices are currently on an upswing. This has affected our overall input cost by over 13 per cent. There has also been an increase in the operating expenses including increase in minimum wages announced by the government with effect from October 2013,” the statement added.
Government reallocated domestic gas allocations to all city gas distribution companies across the country as a fall out of a recent court order. All the earlier gas allocations had been cancelled and the revised allocations now also include PMT gas, which is priced higher than APM gas. “In terms of volume, there has been nearly 5 per cent decrease in the overall quantity of domestic gas allocated to IGL for Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad. The reduction in allocation as well as increase in demand is forcing IGL to source much higher priced imported R-LNG. The prices of R-LNG have been on the rise recently and therefore, new R-LNG quantities are available in the market at much higher prices than the existing ones,” the company said.
However, the company said the increase would not have a major impact on the per km running cost of vehicles. For autos, the increase would be 13 paise per km, for taxi it would be 22 paisa per Km and in case of buses, the increase would be Rs. 1.30 per km, which translates to just over two paisa per passenger-kilometre.