The recent hoarding of subsidized LPG cylinders based on unverified rumors points to the less than desirable aspects of our society.
The hoarding has led to a shortage for genuine customers or ‘non-hoarders.’ It shows how psychologically weak or vulnerable we can be when it comes to rumors. It also demonstrates a survival instinct that does not really care for the greater good.
It is revealing that the hoarding is going on to avoid a fictional higher price rather than any rumors of an impending shortage.
The 750 metric tons of LPG gas we currently get from India every month are subsidized and meant for their poorest people who are below or at the poverty line.
Even in India large numbers of people from the upper middle class and middle class have been voluntarily giving up their subsidized cylinders for the benefit of those who really need them.
Our people can come on social media and other forums and express high amounts of patriotism, but it is lacking when it comes to actual thinking and action on the ground.
Bhutanese should actually be thinking about not being so reliant on subsidies from a foreign country, and even if we are, we have to actually pass it on to those who need it instead of everybody availing it.
In that sense the decision of the Ministry of Economic Affairs to soon import 1,000 metric tons of non subsidized cylinders a month in addition to the subsidized ones is a welcome move.
This will be an opportunity for the more well off or even those Bhutanese who can afford it, to voluntarily give up their subsidy so that our poorer and rural cousins can take advantage of it. It is also an opportunity to wean ourselves from subsidies.
“To find yourself, think for yourself.”