New Delhi,26 May:State-run oil firms hiked the security deposit charges for new cooking gas (LPG) connections by Rs 400 to Rs 1,250 per cylinder on Monday, even as uncertainty continued over the issue of raising fuel prices.
Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum raised refundable security deposit for new connections to Rs 1,250 per cylinder from Rs 850 due to rise in the cost of steel, which is used as an input, an industry official said.
The security deposit in the northeast has been raised to Rs 900 per cylinder from Rs 500.
"The present security deposit was grossly inadequate to cover for the cost of LPG cylinder. Steel price has gone up and we were making huge losses per cylinder," he said.
The cost of gas regulator has also been raised to Rs 150 as against Rs 100 a piece earlier.
Meanwhile, uncertainty continues over the issue of raising petrol and diesel prices that had become "inevitable" because of the relentless rise in international oil prices.
A Petroleum Ministry official said a decision on the issue was not likely this week as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has just had an eye surgery.
Besides, after the political setback to the ruling Congress party in Karnataka, no one is willing to take a harsh decision.
"The ministries are ready (for a decision) but the political establishment appears unprepared," he said, adding that some in the government are of the view that a price hike should be put off at least till next month to allow inflation to subside and the increase does not have a cascading effect.
On cards is a Rs 16-17 a litre hike in petrol prices after the fuel is decontrolled and a marginal price rise in diesel that would continue to be sold at subsidised rates.
Petrol is currently being sold at a loss of Rs 16.34 a litre and diesel at Rs 23.49 per litre.