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Maha Deputy CM Ajit Pawar urges Centre to rethink over gas rates hike

In Mumbai, the price of CNG has surged by Rs 7 per kg and settled at Rs 67 per kg.

Maha Deputy CM Ajit Pawar urges Centre to rethink over gas rates hike  -adt
Mumbai, First Published Apr 7, 2022, 5:43 PM IST

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minsiter Ajit Pawar on Thursday asked the central government to reconsider increasing the rates of compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas (PNG), which have hiked across the country since Tuesday midnight. 

In Mumbai, the price of the CNG is surged by Rs 7 per kg and settled at Rs 67 per kg. About PNG, it surged by Rs 5 per kg and was fixed at Rs 41 per standard cubic metre.

While talking to reporters, Pawar stated that the Maharashtra government does not wish to impose taxes. Instead, they are of the view of reducing the gas tax. He urged, along with the state, that the Centre too should  reduce the tax. As per Pawar, the Centre imposes more tax than the state, and they should reconsider this.

On April 1, the Maharashtra government cut the Value Added Tax (VAT) on natural gas on April 1, due to which the CNG rates dropped by Rs 6 and PNG by Rs 3.50 per standard cubic metre.

But Mahanagar Gas Limited, a state-run natural gas distribution company, increased the rates this week, citing the increase in the selling price of natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), which has led to the increase.

The MGH statement read that from April 1, 2022, the Government of India had increased the selling price of domestically produced natural gas by 110 per cent. Furthermore, the cost of regasified LNG, which is being mixed to make up for the shortage of domestic gas in the CNG and D-PNG segments, is high. The cost of gas bought by MGL has increased significantly due to this combination, it added. 

Previously, the Maharashtra government waived off a tax of Rs 1,000 crore on LPG and CNG in the state budget to relieve people. Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, who also holds the state Finance Minister designation, on March 11, stated that the state would make drastic cuts in the VAT on natural gas from 13.5 per cent to 3 per cent. The action was to make CNG affordable in the state. Consumers of household piped CNG and vehicle owners were expected to benefit from the significant reduction.

On Wednesday, India witnessed its 14th hike in fuel prices in 15 days. Petrol and diesel rates have surged by Rs 10 per litre each in the past 16  days. The government is facing opposition parties' rage over the increase in petrol and gas prices.

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