I as an ordinary Bhutanese citizen would like to express my ‘shock and awe’ with the tremendous increase in LPG Gas prices as it will not only push up my household expenditure but also that of many other ordinary Bhutanese.
I am also afraid that the increase in price of Kerosene apart from hitting our rural cousins will also hit urban residents like me hard in winter when we use kerosene heaters.
The resultant increase of prices of the two com¬modities will lead to increased use of electricity for both cooking and heating. However, this too is not an option as the BPC and DGPC has proposed very high electricity tariff rates which they say is due for revision.
In such a scenario are we Bhutanese including urban residents now supposed to go back to the old days and cut down our forests for fire wood to cook and keep ourselves warm in the chilly winter.
Most of us earning a limited and fixed income with fixed mouths to feed are already suffering huge inflation pressures in food items and also the sky rocketing rent in the last few years.
Such additional economic burden in the form of LPG and Kerosene will make it more difficult to make ends meet.
While my family will be made uncomfortable with such a price hike I am even more con¬cerned for poor families.
It is well known that many families even hear in Thimphu survive on salaries of Nu 4000 to Nu 6000. Of this many of them pay Nu 2,000 to Nu 3,000 in rent for small rooms. They have just Nu 2,000 to Nu 3,000 to make other ends meet including on food.
Now with such a hike of Nu 600 to Nu 700 in a gas cylinder who will such families survive or even feed themselves.
How will such families and others now even think of sending back money home to their much poorer rural relatives?
There are many probable causes being discussed for the Government of India withdrawing subsidies on LPG and Kerosene but I and most citizens are concerned with the impact of such a move.
We hope that the GoI which has always been a friend to Bhutan will not put its best friend through such difficult times.
We also hope that whichever government comes into power on July 13th will resolve this issue with utmost urgency.