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Of over 70,000 non-subsidised Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders that were made available from February 9 this year, people availed of about 291 LPG cylinders in Thimphu as of yesterday.

Non-subsidised LPG was introduced to address the shortage of the cooking gas in the country. Records from the three fuel depots at Motithang Bhutan Oil Distributor, Druk Petroleum in Chubachu, and Damchen Agency in Changzamtok, showed that about 13 subsidised LPG were surrendered to the depots.

Economic affairs ministry wrote a letter on February 28 requesting the users to surrender subsidised LPG.

The letter called upon all government ministers, Speaker, chairman, executive- and chief-level officers, and wealthy households to shift to non-subsidised LPG to set an example for others.

It stated that subsidised LPG cylinders would be given to urban and rural low-income households.

Trade officials said that although the non-subsidised LPG was to supplement for low income and rural communities, people were not really keen on switching the subsidised LPG to the non-subsidised one. “ It will take time.”

Officials said that the initiative to supplement non-subsidised LPG was aimed at addressing the current shortage of LPG both in urban and rural areas.

Those who avail of non-subsidised LPG will not need card or e-coupon to refill cylinders.

Non-subsidised cooking gas cost Nu 1,650 and Nu 815 for the refill, which is Nu 200 more for new connection in Thimphu. Subsidised LPG costs Nu 537 for a refill and Nu 1,`450 for a new connection. Security deposit would be refunded after gas is surrendered.

The shortage of cooking gas in the country is attributed to storing more than the required number LPG cylinders, increasing population and availability of road.

The monthly quota for subsidised LPG is 700 Metric Tonnes (MT), which is about 49,300 LPG cylinders.

Rinchen Zangmo

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