If international gas prices come down, the government could give relief to consumers on cooking gas through subsidy, the Parliament was told on Thursday. Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in Lok Sabha during Question Hour on Thursday that the government imports 60 per cent of the total domestic requirement of gas.
"There is a (existing) subsidy of Rs 200. What is this subsidy? It is tax payer's money... The ones who are most vulnerable, we are always ready to help if it is left to this House and the honourable Prime Minister.
It would be ideal if the international or the Saudi Contract Price could further come down from $750. It would enable domestic LPG to be sold at even more economical rates," he said.
"The import price is linked to what is called the Saudi Contract Price. "The interesting thing is that the Saudi Contract Price during the last two years or so - if we have to use this as a reference period - has gone up from $250 per metric tonne to something like $900 per metric tonne.
Today also, I think it is around $751 per metric tonne," Puri added, while replying to a starred question on providing greater subsidy to people on cooking gas. Despite rising international gas prices, the minister said the government is sensitive to the requirements of the consuming population.
"We did not allow the cost of domestic LPG to increase. Saudi Contract Price went up by 333 per cent and yet the price increased was very small for the domestic LPG," Puri said in his response.
Even during the pandemic, when the poor were suffering due to the lockdown, the government gave three cylinders free of cost to them, he told the House.