Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi:  In a major relief to customers facing lockdown in wake of Covid-19 pandemic, Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) on Thursday announced a major cut in the selling prices of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Piped Natural Gas (PNG), consequent upon the government reducing the prices of domestically produced natural gas.

This revision in price would result in a decrease of Rs 3.20 per kg in the consumer prices of CNG in Delhi and Rs 3.60 per kg in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad. The new consumer price of Rs 42 per kg in Delhi and Rs 47.75 per kg in Noida, Greater Noida & Ghaziabad would be effective from April 3 morning.

Also Read: COVID-19 Mega Impact: Petrol, Diesel Prices To Drop By Rs 2/Litre Soon!

The revised CNG price in Muzaffarnagar would be Rs 56.65 per kg, in Karnal would be Rs 49.85 per kg and in Rewari & Gurugram, Rs 54.15 per kg.

As a bonanza for its domestic consumers, IGL has also announced cut in its domestic PNG prices with effect from April 1. The consumer price of PNG to the households in Delhi has been decreased by Rs 1.55 per scm from Rs 30.10 per scm to Rs 28.55 per scm, while the applicable price of domestic PNG to households in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad would be Rs 28.45 per scm, which has been decreased by Rs 1.65 per scm from Rs 30.10 per scm.

In Rewari, the applicable price of domestic PNG would now be Rs 28.60 per scm, which has been decreased by Rs 1.55 per scm. IGL is supplying PNG to over 9 lakh households in Delhi and over 4.5 lakh households in Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and Rewari.

The revision in retail prices of CNG & PNG have been effected after taking into account the overall impact on the cost as a result of the reduction in prices of domestically produced natural gas notified by the government.

In order to promote cashless transactions and push CNG refueling during off-peak hours, a special cash back scheme of Re 0.50 per kg is also offered for CNG fueling done only at IGL CNG Stations through IGL smart cards.

With the revised price, CNG would offer over 56 per cent savings towards the running cost when compared to petrol driven vehicles at the current level of prices. When compared to diesel driven vehicles, the economics in favour of CNG at revised price would be over 32 per cent.

Meanwhile, rationalised CNG services of IGL for public fueling shall continue during the lockdown period primarily to meet the requirements of emergency and essential service vehicles. A total of 276 CNG stations are being run during this period.

On the other hand, the prices of flour (atta), pulses, 'besan' and edible oils have gone up due to disruption in the supply chain following the 21-day countrywide Covid-19 lockdown.

Wheat flour (atta) saw a rise of Rs 5 per kg, whereas 'besan' rose by Rs 10-12 a kg. Prices of edible oil too rose by Rs 5 per kg.

Retailers, as well as wholesalers, cite shortage of supplies from distributors. "The supply of 'atta' and 'besan' is low, and whatever is arriving is available at a higher price", said Sushil Kumar, a wholesaler from Delhi's Shahdara.

Kumar said a 50 kg sack which was available for Rs 1,150 before the lockdown was announced is today available for Rs 1,400. The price of a special brand of 'besan' which came for Rs 1,970 for a 35kg sack has gone up to Rs 2,400.

A trader from Delhi's Mandavali said the supply of branded food items has been reduced and distributors say the stocks are very low. He said he keeps his stock of biscuits, salted snacks, 'sooji', and 'maida' limited because he is being charged "arbitrary rates" for them. A retailer in Greater Noida said the demand for branded 'atta' is huge, but he is "tired of calling up the distributers". "They don't take the calls," he said.

"Atta mill owners said due to the problem of transport and shortage of labourers following the lockdown, the production has been disrupted. However, Roller Flour Millers Federation of India's General Secretary Veena Sharma told IANS that once the Food Corporation of India procures wheat, the mills would not face any problem.

Also Read: GST Hike To Make Mobile Phones Costly

On edible oil shortage, Solvent Extractors' Association of India's President Atul Chaturvedi said the lockdown should not affect the supply as the country's stocks are enough for at least two months. He said the main problem is of logistics which would be eventually sorted out.

All India Daal Association's President Suresh Aggarwal said the mills are yet to get over the supply problem. But he hoped that once the supply of raw pulses starts, the mills will have no problems in the availability of 'daal' as well as 'besan'.