KOLKATA: Had Narendra Modi not rolled out GST on June 30 midnight, you would have had to pay Rs 26 less for the cooking gas than what you have to shell out now. While the June price of a domestic LPG cylinder was Rs 570, the dip in international oil prices has led to a fall in the base price of LPG and the cylinder would have cost Rs 558.
Instead, the 5% GST levied on domestic cooking gas has led to an increase in the price to Rs 584 a cylinder. “Unlike states that had VAT where LPG price will be less in the GST regime, it will cost more in Bengal as there was no VAT,” said Indian Oil general manager (LPG) Amalesh Dutta.
And the homemakers are feeling the pinch. Salt Lake resident Jagruti Karia, 45, says: “I had booked a cylinder on June 21 and received a confirmation cash memo of Rs 570.50.On June 30, I received a message from the company saying that my booking had been cancelled. I then received another message saying that my booking had been reinstated and the amount payable would be Rs 584. This is unacceptable,” she said.
Pinki Bhattacharya, a schoolteacher, was also critical. “It will affect the day-to-day budget of middleclass families. Since I am a working woman, I have to leave home by 8.30am. So, I generally prefer to have the cylinder delivered by 8 am. I have to pay around Rs 50 extra for that. The delivery person then charges Rs 80 to bring it up the stairs. Add to this the new prices, and the cylinder cost becomes substantial,” the Garfa resident said.
Incidentally , the subsidy amount changes according to the basic price of LPG. At present, the subsidy element on domestic cooking gas is Rs 101.The subsidy amount was Rs121 in June while in May it was Rs 205. The entire subsidy amount gets credited to the bank account of the customer.
In Bengal, there are 1.2 crore domestic LPG customers. Of them, 84 lakh avail subsidy. In Kolkata, there are 12 lakh customers of whom 9 lakh avail subsidy. Bharat Gas dealer, Sukamal Sen said, some relief could come next month as international prices continue to drop.
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