Hoteliers fume over hike in LPG cylinder prices

BENGALURU: The rise in price of commercial LPG cylinder (19 kgs) by Rs 351 with effect from Wednesday has not gone down well with the the hotel industry and the hoteliers who criticized the Union Government over the decision, terming it as ‘abnormal’ and ‘unscientific.’

With the latest price hike commercial cylinder now costs Rs 2,190.50 in Bengaluru. A domestic LPG cylinder price has also been hiked by Rs 50.

Expressing displeasure over the rise in commercial cylinders, a delegation of Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association would be meeting Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri on March 16 in New Delhi with demands, particularly steps to control ‘unscientific’ and ‘abnormal’ rise in the cost of commercial LPG cylinders in the interest of common man/customers. Their other demand is reduction in GST from 18 per cent on commercial LPG cylinders to 5 per cent imposed on domestic LPG cylinders.

An estimated 24,500 hotels are in Bengaluru city apart from hundreds of bakeries, sweet shops and restaurants.

Taking a serious exception to the latest hike in LPG cylinder price rise, the president of Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association P.C. Rao told Deccan Chronicle on Thursday apart from drastic rise in LPG cylinders, the Union Government has withdrawn giving subsidy to commercial LPG cylinders and added that the withdrawal of subsidy has come into existence six months back. Earlier the subsidy was given in the range of Rs 150 to Rs 250.

“Imposition of 18 per cent GST on commercial cylinders is against the GST rules and it should be on par with the domestic cylinders,” Rao said, adding that numerous appeals have been made seeking reduction in GST on commercial cylinders but nothing substantial has happened so far.

Despite commercial cylinder prices going up, yet the hotels have not gone for an increase in rates of food as of now and Rao said even if hotels raise the costs by about 10 per cent, then, consumption rate would fall significantly and it also results in revenue losses to the State Government.

Meanwhile, members of Karnataka Pradesh Mahila Congress led by its State president Dr Pushpa Amarnath staged a protest against the rise in LPG cylinder costs both domestic and commercial and shouted slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled Union Government.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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