Faced with an increasing shortage of subsidized LPG cylinders across the country, the government is in the process of asking the Government of India (GoI) to allot more subsidized LPG cylinders quota for Bhutan.
The Minister for Economic Affairs, Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said, “We are requesting the GoI to increase the LGP quota. The Ministry has done the due diligence and we have submitted the matter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which will take up the matter with the GoI.”
He said that the Ministry had done a calculation of the shortage for Bhutan and accordingly given a figure in their request to the MFA.
Bhutan currently gets an annual LPG quota of 8,400 metric tons coming to around 591,000 LPG gas cylinders with an average weight of 14.20 kg per cylinder.
The minister said this while explaining the various measures being taken to counter the LPG shortage.
He said that one step that the government was trying to take was to prevent the hoarding of LPG cylinders, as even though one cylinder is enough for a month for a five member family, there were up to four cylinders being hoarded by each family. He said this creates a deficiency.
Another problem was with all commercial establishments like hotels using subsidized cylinders. Lyonpo said that the ministry is encouraging them to use commercial white colour gas cylinders. The third step is encouraging dealers to be more efficient in lifting their LPG quota from India.
The Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said that the problem of LPG shortage in the country was essentially a problem of demand and supply. He said that supply has stayed the same over the years but the demand has gone up as LPG gas is increasingly being used in the rural areas as well.
He said that the hoarding of gas cylinders is a problem as well. The PM said that there are also inefficiencies in the market but none of them are new as they were there before.
Lyonchhen pointed out that now, the only way out of the problem was increasing the supply of subsidized LPG gas.