Sambalpur: The Centre’s cut on excise duty on diesel and petrol and the state government’s VAT reduction will bring no joy to the beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
The price of kerosene distributed among PDS articles has been increased by Rs 7.42, affecting 80 lakh beneficiaries in the state. The revised price has been implemented from November 1.
The beneficiaries will purchase oil at this price in November and December. In Sambalpur district, a total of 2,24,236 beneficiaries will be affected. It is seen as a direct burden on poor families.
Dealing a blow to the poor, the government has hiked the price of kerosene oil and, at the same time, reduced the per head quota. Till November, per head kerosene quota had been 4 to 5 litres.
From now onwards, a beneficiary will get 1 to 1.5 litres every month. At a time when consumers are struggling with the price hike of essential commodities, kerosene’s price hike has left consumers a worried lot.
Expressing his displeasure, a beneficiary said earlier the price of the oil was less and quantity was more. Now it stands reversed.
“The beneficiaries will refuse to buy the oil which will give rise to kerosene black-marketing. The article meant for poor people will be looted jointly by L-2 contractors and dealers,” he alleged.
When contacted, district civil supplies officer Ram Chandra Tudu said, “The price of kerosene oil has been increased by Rs 7.42 per litre. It may cause problem to the beneficiaries. But the price hike is for two months only. After two months, the price may fall. The hiked price has 43 paisa in it towards fare.”
Worth mentioning, there are a total of 2,24,236 beneficiaries under NFSA and SFSA in the district. The total amount of the kerosene oil quota for them is 3,09,000 litres a month.
Through eight L-2 contractors, the oil reaches the dealers and the ration shops in panchayat level. In the district, there are 218 dealers.
As per the information shared by the district civil supplies department, kerosene oil’s price was Rs 34 per litre June 26, 2019.
For last some months, including the Covid-19 period, the price was being hiked by 30 to 50 paisa a litre. But now, it has been increased by Rs7.42 at once.