The drastic increase in the price of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is bound to hit the common man hard. The prices of domestic and commercial gas cylinders have gone up by ₹50 and ₹350 respectively. In Delhi, the price of a domestic LPG cylinder is ₹1,103 and of a commercial one is ₹2,119.50.
Those who use piped gas already pay ₹54 per unit, against the earlier price of ₹48. This is also bound to increase. There are thousands of consumers, especially in the rural areas, who went in for an LPG connection because of the convenience it entailed.
When it became problematic to receive subsidies on the gas, many of them stopped using LPG. Many more will be forced to either surrender their connections or go in for traditional methods of cooking because LPG has become unaffordable to them.
Commercial gas cylinders are not used by five-star hotels alone. For every such hotel, there are hundreds of small food joints, some of them run on moveable carts. They also use the same commercial cylinders which they can manage to buy only if they pass on the burden to their customers.
This will have a spiralling effect on the consumer price index, particularly when the prices of essential commodities have been on the rise. A 20% increase in one go is certainly not justified.
The government has chosen the date as the elections in the Northeast are over and there are a few months left for the next round of elections in states like Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, not to mention the Lok Sabha elections. The ministers and the leaders of the ruling party would do well to revisit the tweets and statements they made when LPG prices were increased during the UPA regime.
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