ERODE: The steep rise in the price of auto LPG has led many car owners to use domestic LPG as fuel. Although the latter’s price has also been raised, it still costs much less. The price of a 1-litre auto LPG cylinder was Rs 29 in August, Rs 29.50 in September, Rs 35.50 in October and is now Rs 41.31. The price of petrol is Rs 73.20 per litre now. The tax on auto LPG is 18 percent, but the State and Central levies on petrol and diesel can add up to over 50 percent.
As a car with a petrol mileage of 16 km a litre gives 15 km per litre of auto LPG, it is much more economical. It also causes less pollution. Many therefore altered their cars to use auto LPG. But the steep rise in its price is now worrying them and many have started using domestic LPG, which costs Rs 750 (unsubsidized) for a 23-litre/14.5-kg cylinder. This works out to be much cheaper than auto LPG; one can save about Rs 200 per cylinder of domestic LPG when compared with auto LPG.
It is felt that the Centre plans to equalise the prices of auto LPG and LPG for cooking step by step. As a commercial 17-kg LPG cylinder now costs Rs 1,150, car owners do not opt for it.
The price of crude, which had risen to $130-140 when the UPA was in power, had fallen considerably after the BJP came to power. However, the Central government did not make the corresponding cut in the prices of petrol, diesel and auto LPG.
According to auto LPG users, if its price is brought to the level of domestic LPG, many more people would be used it instead of petrol or diesel. This would help reduce global warming, they added.
What the rule says
As per the Central rules, a family is eligible for 12 subsidised LPG cylinders, (`690 now). They can buy more unsubsidised LPG. For use in cars, they buy unsubsidised LPG. The small subsidy for domestic LPG will be provided only until March