New Delhi, May 26 (UNI) Public sector oil companies today hiked the security deposit charges for new cooking gas (LPG) connections to Rs 1,250 per cylinder from Rs 850, notwithstanding a decision by the government to hike retail prices of petrol and petroleum products.
Besides, the cost of gas regulator has been raised to Rs 150 as against Rs 100 a piece earlier.
The oil companies which have taken this decision include Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum of the refundable security deposit for new connections.
The deposit rates of cylinders were increased six years back and the oil majors justified their hike in view of the phenomenal rise in the steel prices.
However, the PSUs gave a special consideration to the northeast States, raising the security deposit to Rs 900 per cylinder from Rs 500.
These companies claimed that they have been incurring huge losses on account of sale of LPG cylinders and were compelled to increase the security deposits to meet the rising cost of inputs.
Estimates show that if all subsidy were to be eliminated the price of a gas cylinder would go up by Rs 316.
The government has been making efforts to bail out the oil marketing companies from significant under recoveries, while ensuring a minimal burden on the consumer.
Recently, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this connection and the premier asked his Principal Secretary T K A Nair to hold a meeting with public sector oil giants.
The defeat of the Congress in Karnataka and the Prime Minister being indisposed means a final decision is some distance away.
The oil companies took note of this and decided to hike the deposit security on gas cylinders.
UNI SR PDT KN1902