There is more bad news for Indian middle-class as the Centre’s Narendra Modi government decided to increase the prices for domestic cooking gas LPG by over Rs 2 per cylinder on what’s termed as subsidised gas. This is the second hike in one month.
The government has already faced condemnation for forcibly snatching away the subsidy from millions of consumers, living across India. On overage, users are now paying close to Rs 1,000 for one cylinder of cooking gas.
Journalist Rifat Jawaid recently tweeted informing how he had to pay Rs 935 for one cylinder of LPG in November adding that he had paid Rs 875 for the same in October. He wrote, “Today I paid Rs 935 for a gas cylinder, Rs 60 more than what I paid last month. It’s soon going to be three times more than what I paid 4 1/2 years ago. Thank you Modi government!!”
Today I paid Rs 935 for a gas cylinder, Rs 60 more than what I paid last month. It's soon going to be three times more than what I paid 4 1/2 years ago. Thank you Modi government!! https://t.co/gBh8uZxY6j
— Rifat Jawaid (@RifatJawaid) November 4, 2018
His viral tweet evoked overwhelming reactions from users, most of whom said that they were being forced to pay over Rs 1,000 for one cylinder of cooking gas. Supporters of the government have argued that the hike in subsidised cooking gas hasn’t been steep as it is being sold at Rs 507 per cylinder currently. They claim that although a consumer was paying over Rs 1,000 for each cylinder, the balance was being transferred to their accounts if they had not voluntarily given up their subsidy.
However, many consumers said that the government had taken away their subsidy even against their willingness to give their subsidy.
One Twitter user wrote, “I registered my Aadhar details with my provider with the hope that the balance money will be transferred into my bank account each month, but I have never received that amount. Each time I ask my dealer, I am told to inquire with my bank, which, in turn, asks me to check with the dealer.”
This is not an isolated story as a huge group of people have shared the same experience, making it sound like a government-sponsored fraud. Despite Rifat’s tweets going viral, no one from the government or Indian Oil has explained how the dealer could increase the LPG price by over Rs 60 in one single month.
A report by news agency PTI said that the Friday’s hike had come into effect after the government increased the commission paid to LPG dealers. This followed an order of the Oil Ministry that raised the dealer’s commission. In that order, the ministry said the domestic LPG distributors’ commission for 14.2-kg cylinder and 5-kg cylinder was last fixed at Rs. 48.89 and Rs. 24.20 respectively in September 2017.
“Pending finalisation of De-Novo Study for revision of LPG distributors’ commission and taking into consideration the increase in transportation costs, wages etc, it has been decided to revise the distributors’ commission to Rs. 50.58 per 14.2 kg cylinder and Rs. 25.29 per 5 kg cylinder as an interim measure,” the order said.