India is expected to save ₹35,758 crore on kerosene and cooking gas subsidies this year, which is over 91% of the total budgeted fuel subsidy for 2020-21, mainly because of low international oil prices, according to two officials who asked not to be named.As per prevailing international prices, the expected subsidy on kerosene sold through the public distribution system in the current financial year is zero. The subsidy through direct benefit transfer (DBT) of cooking gas, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is expected to be Rs 3,506 crore in 2020-21, substantially lower than the budgeted amount of Rs 35,605 crore, these officials added.The Union Budget for 2020-21 provides for Rs 39,264 crore subsidies for the two fuels (Rs 35,605 crore on LPG subsidy and Rs 3,659 crore on kerosene) compared to Rs 34,110 crore in the previous fiscal year, one of the officials said.According to the petroleum ministry’s data, average cost of India’s crude oil import (Indian basket) in April 2020 plunged sharply by about 72% at $19.9 per barrel compared to $71 a barrel in the same month last year. (See chart).Although global oil prices rose after oil producers’ cartel resorted to an output cut, India’s import cost still… Read full this story
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