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Updated: January 2, 2014 01:04 IST

New Year shocker leaves many consumers ‘gas’ping

Nemmani Sreedhar
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Oil companies raise domestic LPG cylinder price by Rs. 215, taking the hike to a new high

It was a real New Year shocker. Burdening the already taxed consumers, the cost of domestic LPG cylinder in the city was spiked by Rs. 215, taking the price to a new high of Rs. 1,327.50. The rates of commercial cylinders were increased to Rs. 2,268.50 from Rs. 1,883, a difference of Rs. 385.50.

Regular hike in prices

Ever since the gas prices were de-regularised, oil companies have revising the LPG cylinder rates on the last day of every month, but the latest revision has been the steepest, LPG dealers observed.

“We face the ire of customers each time prices are increased, and this happens almost every month,” S.V. Reddy, a distributor, said. For most consumers, the current price will certainly be a huge burden, he added.

The woes of several consumers are not just limited to price hike.

Glitches

They complain that the Aadhaar-linked subsidy reimbursement system still has many glitches.

“There is no clarity on how much money is being reimbursed. While last month my bank account was credited with Rs. 540, my neighbour got Rs.100 more during the same time,” P. Sowmya, a resident of L.B. Nagar, said.

The Aadhaar-linked system is far from perfect, V. Lakshmi Reddy, a medical practitioner, said. “I did not submit my Aadhaar number to my dealer, yet my bank account got credited with the subsidy money,” she said.

Worried lot

Dealers, too, are a worried lot, thanks to glitches in the system.

“About 20 per cent of the queries we receive everyday are complaints about gas subsidies. The worst thing is that we do not have control over the disbursement of money and can only forward the details to the oil companies,” Mr. Reddy said.

Auto unions furious

Telangana Auto Drivers’ Joint Action Committee condemned steep price hike of LPG by Rs.11 per litre and threatened to launch an indefinite strike, if the government failed to increase the existing auto fares.

The auto fares were revised about 16 months ago and price of LPG then was Rs.44 per litre.

Indefinite strike

Authorities should convene a meeting with auto unions and increase the auto fares immediately, if they fail to hold a meeting, auto unions will be forced to launch an indefinite strike, said Mohammed Amanullah Khan, convener of the committee, in a press release.

More In: Hyderabad

I hope such steep price increases won't happen for grains when PDS is brought under DBT. Petroleum prices move with the international rates. Surely they are beyond the reach of the common man.

from:  Mukesh Kamath
Posted on: Jan 2, 2014 at 20:26 IST
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