For the couple of weeks scarcity of Kerosene Oil has risen to the maximum limit. No dealers are getting stock of Kerosene to supply in the market. For last couple of months, Kerosene Oil is being sold Rs30/litre to Rs50/litre in the open market. But for last 2 days, Kerosene is sold Rs100/litre in the market; everywhere in West Bengal, there is a tremendous scarcity of this product.
A huge number of household people are suffering a lot for this price hike. Basically, percentage of poor people in West Bengal is much higher than other states of India. They use Kerosene oil for cooking their daily food as well. A huge number of people are there in West Bengal whose monthly income is well below Rs10,000; and they are still unable to use LPG connection or, induction cooker or any other modern cooking facilities.
Same situation is applicable for very small to medium business owners who run businesses like tea-shops, food corners etc. They use to handle their business with Kerosene Oil because they have not enough capital as well as education to adopt other standard business policy.
Kerosene has been subsidised by the Central Government for decades. Different states charges different taxes for Kerosene, but in most of the cities, retail price of Kerosene is around Rs23/litre. In the open market, price of Kerosene, which is used for commercial purposes, is around Rs50/litre – Rs55/litre.
But, recently the Govt. of West Bengal has stopped the distribution of Kerosene, and supply of Kerosene has been totally stopped for couple of weeks. Kerosene dealers have already filed litigation against the Govt. of West Bengal to save their Kerosene business.
On the other hand, the Govt. of West Bengal is on their way to decrease subsidy burden; and also they are on the focus with a huge fake ration cards existing in the ‘Public Distribution System’ in West Bengal.
But, whatever be the cause and fate of litigation and control of Public Distribution, common poor people are the prime sufferer.