Hoteliers unhappy with BIG gas cylinders

Ever since the department of trade and industry under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) launched the 19 kilo Bhutan industrial gas (BIG) gas cylinders, hoteliers started to complain about its price.

Many hoteliers The Bhutanese  spoke to complained about the price of the new gas and expressed disgruntlement over it.

T.N Sharma, the Manager of Hotel 89 said “the cylinder is very expensive for refilling so we request the government to revise the price of the gas for the affordability for the people”.

In agreement with the manager of Hotel 89, Rai, Manager of the Yeedzin Guest house said, “If the government could give some more time to use the new cylinder it would have been better since the guest house is under renovation but the trade officials said it is compulsory to fit the new cylinders at any cost”.

One of the hoteliers from Thimphu seeking anonymity said “it is very risky to use the new cylinder as it has high pressure and there are chances of it exploding. We are also told to surrender the old cylinders if we don’t use the new ones”.

“Some can afford to buy but what about the small restaurant owners because the price is very high and the penalty is also high. If we use it we  lose our customers as the menu price is too high. Now with the expensive cylinders and high grocery prices we cannot effort to sell the food items,” she said.

She also said that there was no consultation with the hoteliers with regards to the new gas cylinders. “We were notified about the new gas through the media. We are not even given the option whether we should use it or not,” said one.

Meanwhile, Hari Maya, 33 who runs a small restaurant near the Norzin lam said, “My license was taken away once when they came to visit my hotel seeing that I have not used the new cylinders and my old cylinders were also seized”.

She said that big hotels can afford to purchase such gas but what about poor people like her.

Previously, it cost Nu 491 to refill a 14.5 liter gas cylinder but it costs Nu 2025 to refill the 19 liter cylinder.

Many restaurant owners and hoteliers are requesting the ministry if it could come up with some changes or reduction in the prices.

Dungto, the regional director of trade said “this is commercial gas and we do not have subsidies from the government of India as we have to pay the full amount of it”.

“The number of cylinders given by the government of India to our country is very low and the number of restaurants and hotels are becoming higher and the gas price itself is very high from the refilling plant,” he said.

“There are no benefits for the government from this new introduction of cylinders as we introduced this just to meet the local environment and so there is nothing to discuss with the hoteliers,” he added.

The regional trade director said “They will be imposed Nu 10,000 fine if they violate the rules”.

Sonam Wangmo / Thimphu

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  1. Tashi Tshering

    Dear Tenzing Lamzang

    I have written so many letters to your editorial board with different topics, i am neither given any reply nor any of my subjects are printed, so today i am writing this in the forum and if you want you can print it in your paper with a modification and for clarification you can always contact me in the above email id.

    You said the hoteliers are unhappy with the big gas, I say the hoteliers are very depressed, sad and upset but where do they raise their voice. I on behalf of the hoteliers really do not mind who the owner and who works for the Big gas company, I feel one  should leave up to the peoples choice from where they want to buy their gas, it is the peoples money and its up to them to where they want to spend. I dont think the ministry of economic affairs to force someone to use the new gas. Of course for big hotels like Taj and Druk, they have no problem even if the gas price is 10 times more but it is definitely a huge amount for someone like me running a small canteen. Okay the regional director has quoted that more and more hotels are coming up, he might be right but than he should ask the new hoteliers to buy the big gas. I felt very sorry for the poor widow running a shop near the Taxi parking, she had one blue gas and the regional director came and snatched away the gas and asked her to come to the office and pay the penality. EWhat can the poor lady do, who will hear her voice, the only option for her is to pour out her savings and pay the penalty.

    I have always trusted the Bhutanese paper and i know what this paper does is always right so I dont fear in requesting this paper to do a proper investigation. Here are some clues.

    How did the company get its licensee? Will any Bhutanese people get such license? Was thre a open call?
    The answer is no the license is issued because the owner of the big gas company Gyamtsho is related through his wife  to Director Sonam P Wangdi. Soanm P wangdi instructs the Regional Director to issue the license and to follow up with the hotels, if they are using the new gas.

    The regional Director since than has been putting his heart and soul in this work but why? Why does he have to personally go and inspect the hotels?

    He is putting his heart and soul because his own son has a share in this businese and he wants to make sure people buy this gas forcefully.

    Why is Tashi Gas cheaper and Big gas expensive?

    Its simple because Tashi company has a margin of maximum three ngultrum per gas cylinder while the Big gas has a profit of Ngultrum 10 per cylinder.

    I hope this paper would kindly investigate and have a detailed story.

  2. Maybe the issue is closer to MoEA? Why is the ministry trying it’s best to help this company succeed? No nepotism here is there?

  3. Nothing unclear about this.

    1. Small cylinder is subsidised and is for household use
    2. commercial users should use commericial gas supplies.
    3. commericial use of small cylinders leads to hoarding and shortage for ordinary people.
    4. people going out to eat can pay for the price as the hotels will pass on the price to consumers anyway. but atleast then the people should now have easier access to gas for household use.

  4. for an ordinary household user like myself, things have become much easier ever since the commercial cylinders were introduced….thanks to the authority who introduced this difference in cylinder supplies…else, I cant afford wasting my time queuing up at the station for the whole Saturday morning…people who have benefited thus far by using the subsidized gas shouldn’t be ever greedy at the cost of ordinary citizens….

  5. dnt spoon feed too much…..our people are becming lazy …………bt if the accusation is true shud enquire that director n his chamcha……..

  6. This really got to be investigated though we can understand that the price of commercial gas need to little higher then the subsidised gas cylender for regular usage. Nevertheless the reguatory authority should have taken into the practiclity of this new system as lots of old (14kg) cylender has been floating into the market and thre is as on date no proper record as of how many of them are being used for regular consumtion and how many for commercial purpose.
    Obvioulsy people will go for the cheaper product available in the market not just because it’s cheap… but very cheap as compare to the commercial one. the difference in the volume is only around kgs while the price is 4 times expensive. Shame on you guys who has taken this decision for ur own benifit. BHutan really need to be grown up now. I dont know much about politics… but from a perspect of a common uneducated citizen… there really exist some fishy thing with regard to it….

    • You returned those small cylinders. ? The small returned cylinders reached to poor people in remote area of Bhutan.
      You are not happy to help poor citizens in Bhutan?
      This small cylinders are quota/subsidized item and India government will not give small cylinders as much as you want as it is a subsidized and then only lowered the price.
      Don’t fall so much in deep love with small cylinders just to pay less and not thinking of poor citizen who do not have excess to small gas like you.

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