CNG prices set to fall in capital soon

Centre mulls options to make it happen

CNG prices are set to be lowered in Delhi in coming days, call it Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal effect or the Centre’s efforts to tweak distribution norms.

 “The Centre is mulling various options. Apart from raising the quota of cheap natural gas for Delhi, it is also weighing on option of further compressing the natural gas distribution to non-priority sectors and thereby increase supply in Delhi,” an oil ministry official told Deccan Herald.

At present, the Indraprastha Gas, the sole supplier of CNG in Delhi gets domestically produced gas to meet only 73 per cent of its requirement and the rest comes from imported gas, which is nearly five times costlier. The oil initiated to raise the quota for Delhi to 80 per cent. Once this is affected, the natural gas will automatically be cheaper for Delhi.

As per the instructions of Supreme Court, the distribution of cheaper domestic gas should be equitable to all cities, but in practical terms this has not happened till now. Of late, the oil ministry had issued a directive to distribute cheaper domestic gas to all cities equitably based on the instructions of Supreme Court.

If this is affected,  the quota of Mumbai and Pune will fall to 80 per cent from the current 100 per cent while that of Delhi will rise to 80 per cent from 73. But this will be effected only after the Mumbai High Court hears the matter and gives its ruling in favour of Centre on January 9.

Transporters in Mumbai and Pune had moved the Bombay High Court against the Centre's decision for equitable distribution of cheap gas.

The CNG prices in the city were hiked by a steep Rs 4.50 per kg last week a little before Kejriwal took over as Chief Minister of Delhi.

This led Kejriwal to question the timing of the hike. In a tweet, he said, "CNG rates hiked in Delhi. Isn't the time suspect?"

After the hike, CNG costs Rs 50.10 per kg in Delhi and Rs 56.70 in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad.

Meanwhile, auto drivers held a protest outside petroleum minister M Veerappa Moily’s house on Sunday seeking a rollback of CNG prices.

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