Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the government would provide a subsidy of ₹200 per LPG cylinder to over nine crore beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. The subsidy will be provided for a maximum of 12 cylinders per year, she said. This was part of a number of big-ticket measures to tackle price rise and inflation in India due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, which has led to rising oil and food prices worldwide.
Earlier this week, price of LPG (liquified petroleum gas, used by crores of Indian families to cook food) rose by ₹3.50 for the second time in a month. Prices nationwide crossed the ₹1,000-mark.
Before today’s announcement a 14.2 kg cylinder cost ₹1,003 in Delhi and Mumbai, ₹1,029 in Kolkata and ₹1,018.5 in Chennai.
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Sitharaman also slashed central excise duty on petrol by ₹8 per litre and on diesel by ₹6 per litre. Petrol and diesel prices have crossed ₹100 per litre in many parts of the country after crude oil prices spiked in the aftermath of the conflict in Ukraine.
The minister said the move would reduce the price of petrol by ₹9.5 per litre and of diesel by ₹7 per litre. She asked states that had not cut fuel prices in November to implement the cuts now.
“Today, the world is passing through difficult times. Even as the world is recovering from Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine conflict has brought in supply chain problems and shortages of various goods. This is resulting in inflation and economic distress in a lot of countries,” Sitharaman said on Twitter.
Additionally, the finance minister announced the government would reduce customs duty on raw materials and intermediaries for plastic and iron and steel products, for all of which India is highly dependent on imports. This will result in reduction of cost of final products, she said.
A detailed document with details of the measures will come out later in the day.