Govt to still exclude 4 Thromdes even after GOI agrees to additional 300 MT subsidized LPG

But 5,000 to 6000 poor households in four Thromdes to get LPG

One of the important announcements during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit was the enhancement of of subsidized LPG to Bhutan from the present 700 MT to 1000 MT per month to enable Bhutan to meet the increasing domestic requirements and facilitate increased penetration of LPG in rural areas.

Earlier, on 24th July 2019 the Department of Trade in a notification said that there will no longer be subsidized cylinder from January 2020 in the four Thromdes of Thimphu, Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrupjongkhar.

The announcement of the additional 300 MT per month subsidized cylinder had piqued hopes that this order would be reversed but this will not happen.

The Minister for Economic Affairs Lyonpo Loknath Sharma said that instead the government is planning to ensure that around 5,000 to 6,000 poor households in the four thromdes identified in the NSB housing and population survey will continue to get subsidized cylinders.

He also clarified that removal is only for Thromdes and not the entire Dzongkhag and so villages in the gewogs of Thimphu and other Dzongkhags can still avail subsidized cylinders.

The minister said that the additional 300 MT would be used to send subsidized cylinders to rural and remote areas where they are really needed. He said measures would also be put in place to prevent their resale.

Lyonpo said that the subsidized cylinders will not be given in the four Thromdes apart from the poor families identified in the NSB survey. He said that even India was doing away with the LPG subsidy and Bhutan should also gradually phase it out in the longer run.

Lyonpo said that with the increase Bhutan now gets 1000 MT of subsidized cylinders and 1000 MT of non-subsidized cylinders coming to around 140,000 cylinders a month.

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