LPG price hike further adds to households burden

LPG price hike further adds to households burden

For the first time the price of domestic cylinder touches Rs 1,035

The monthly budgets of households of various sections of people have gone out of control with the rising prices

♦ People criticise Central govt's way of holding up fuel prices whenever there are key elections and raising them after they are over

Tirupati: Life has already become tough for the commoners with the ever increasing petrol and diesel prices and the steep rise in the price of LPG has added more bitterness to their dishes. As the price of 14.2 kg cylinder has crossed Rs 1,000 mark to touch Rs 1,035 in many places in the state, consumers in the erstwhile Chittoor district have to bear an additional burden of nearly Rs 2.5 crore per month.

The oil companies have laid a huge burden of Rs 100 on each domestic LPG cylinder in two months. They increased the gas cylinder cost by Rs 50 in March and again on May 7 which made life of the poor and middle-class consumers miserable. It was learnt that the erstwhile Chittoor district has nearly 10.50 lakh consumers who get cylinders from 103 gas agencies across the district. On an average nearly five lakh cylinders are to be refilled per month.

LPG connection has become a dire necessity for families of all classes. The poor and middle-class sections were already hit hard by the rising petroleum prices with which their monthly budgets have shattered beyond expectations. The prices of all essential commodities including vegetables are on rise citing petrol/diesel prices. Even dairies have increased the milk rates by Rs.4 per litre recently.

"We could not manage the household budgets with rising prices and unchanged incomes. In fact, we could not understand how to cut the expenditure. The electricity charges have also gone up from this month. In the last 10 months the price of LPG has gone up by more than Rs 150," said a homemaker P Hema.

An employee in a private company D Krishna said that the LPG cylinder delivery boys have been charging Rs.1100 as a round figure including delivery charges. Whenever the gas cylinder cost is increased, the delivery charges also go up and they are charging Rs 65 which is too much.

As the commercial cylinder price has also increased few days earlier than the domestic cylinder price increase, it now costs Rs 2,598 as against Rs 2,223 after the increase in March. This has resulted in a major cut of revenues for even the small eateries.

Ganesh who runs a street-side eatery said that they could only revise the tariff of various items slightly due to stiff competition. But it will be difficult to survive like this for long as the edible oil prices too have crossed Rs 200. He criticised the governments for not showing any mercy towards various sections while increasing the prices and taxes.

Several people were critical of the Central government's stand on the daily revision of oil prices. Citing the recent elections in five states during which the petroleum prices remained constant during November–March, they recalled that when there are elections around, the prices would not be touched and once that process is over, they start charging the people with huge price hikes.

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