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Delhi smiles as CNG prices are lowered; meanwhile vegetable prices may go up with strike at city's Azadpur Mandi
The Govt. has decided to cut CNG prices by Rs 15 and and piped cooking gas by Rs 5 in Delhi. Oil minister M Veerappa Moily announced this today. The minster said that this was a positive signal for other states and cities, which could also soon see price reduction of 25-30%. The decision has come after the Govt. has recently decided to raise the cap on subsidized LPG cylinders from 9 to 12.

Presently every kg of CNG in Delhi costs Rs 50.10, while the PNG costs 29.50 per scm up to a consumption of 30 scm in two months. Delhi, which presently uses as much as 28 per cent of costlier imported LNG, and cities in Gujarat like Ahmedabad which too were heavily reliant on imported fuel, will see a price cut.

Though the move is largely seen as an election gimmick, Moily clarified that there is no ‘election motive’ behind these decisions.

“This debate (to supply 100 per cent domestic gas for city distribution) has been on for the past four-five years. It has nothing to do with the elections. Our target is always to benefit the common man. If it helps the common man, we are happy. If some political party also stands to benefit, it is incidental,” said Veerappa Moily to reporters.  

Hailing the move by the central government Delhi Kejriwal congratulated people and took the credit as well.

He tweeted, "Congrats Delhiites. Just a day before I took oath, central govt increased CNG prices in Delhi. Delhi govt challenged it in supreme court. SC has stayed central govt order. CNG prices rolled back.”

The reduction in CNG prices will also provide relief to those who commute via auto-rickshaws as rickshaw owners have decided to shun their demand for fare hike reportedly.   

On the one hand when lowered CNG prices have brought smiles on the faces of Delhiites, at the  same time the city is facing the risk of further rise in prices of fruits and vegetables as a section of the 2300 commission agents or Arthias at Azadpur Mandi, which is considered as Asia's biggest fruits and vegetable wholesale market, went on strike today to protest the abolition by the APMC of a 6% commission charged to the farmers.

Meanwhile the government has imposed Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) on the traders to tackle the situation.

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