At a time when prices of vegetables are skyrocketing and the power tariff has gone up too, hoteliers said the hike in liquefied petroleum gas cylinders is an additional burden.
Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) hiked the price of 19 kg LPG cylinders effective July 1. In Chennai, the hike was by ₹8 per cylinder. LPG rates are revised on the first of every month.
An average- sized hotel with a footfall of 1,500 persons a day would require 10 cylinders daily. This means additional spending of ₹80 per day, which translates to ₹2,400 per month. Though this may seem a small amount, when the prices of vegetables and the hike in power tariff are added to it, the burden becomes unbearable, said M. Ravi of Chennai Hotels Association.
”We are already paying a higher slab (compared to domestic consumers) due to the commercial nature of our establishments. It is not correct to fix different rates for different times for the same commodity. It seems like an unfair trade practice,” he explained.
Consumer activist T. Sadagopan said that the government should fix the price of LPG for a certain number of months. “Our country has a very large consumer base, and in such a case, we should have the upper hand in fixing prices. If commercial LPG prices are revised every month, the hike will ultimately passed on to consumers. Many households especially those with only elders, depend on hotels even for regular food,” he pointed out.