Chennai, Nov 5 : The increase in price of commercial use LPG cylinders has led to closing down of several small hotels and restaurants in Tamil Nadu as they are unable to bear the huge losses.
Talking to IANS, M. Rashid Khan, a small-time hotelier in Chennai’s Saidapet, said: “On Wednesday, the price of a LPG cylinder at Chennai was Rs 2,133 while during October, the price was Rs 1,831 and this steep increase would lead to a person like me coughing up more than Rs 1,000 per day. I don’t even get a profit of more than Rs 1,000 a day and if you are doing a business at loss, the best thing is to shut it down and avoid further losses.”
Hoteliers also warned that there are possibilities of domestic use cylinders, that are priced much below the commercial type, being sold in the black market to these commercial establishments including small eateries and restaurants.
Susheela Bhai, a homemaker at the outskirts of Basant Nagar in Chennai, told IANS: “We can easily shift to firewood and if we sell a LPG cylinders for Rs 1,200 also, we get a neat profit… its big money for people like us and the restaurant owners are also benefitted as they will have to shell out double the amount to buy a cylinder.”
The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Tamil Nadu also is apprehensive of the future of the hotel industry.
“Death bells are ringing for the industry. We cannot afford to manage the show with such a huge increase in price of gas cylinders. At the end of the day, no one wants to end up in loss after slogging for several hours in a day. People have decided to shut down their restaurants and eateries and grab some work elsewhere to support the family,” the organisation’s Joint Secretary M.R. Mukundarajan told IANS.
The hotels and eateries of the state were on the path of a slight recovery after shutting down for so long during the Covid pandemic-induced lockdown but the hike in LPG cylinders prices has given a blow to the recovery dreams.