Apart from opposition parties like Communist Party of India (CPI-M) and Communist Party of India (CPI), resentment over the issue was voiced by some Congress leaders also, who held that giving free hand to oil companies to determine price of LPG would harm UPA's interests, especially at a time when Lok Sabha elections are just a few months away.
The Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association called for a dawn-to-desk closure of hotels on Wednesday to protest steep hike in unsubsidized LPG connections.
Expressing serious concern over the issue, senior Congress leader VM Sudheeran said that the Centre should not have given a free hand to the oil companies on cooking gas price which has a bearing on millions of people.
He wanted the current round of hike to be rolled back and the Centre reconsider taking away from the companies the right to decide on petroleum prices.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had on Thursday conveyed state’s concern to Centre over the issue.
As a relief to the people, the government has decided to forgo the quantum of Value Added Tax (VAT) accruing to the state exchequer on account of the increase in price.
The state had also been allowed two months' grace period for completing Adhaar linking of bank accounts of domestic customers for direct transfer of LPG gas subsidy.
Announcing the shutdown of hotels, Association General Secretary Jose Mohan said in Kochi that the hike would hit the hotel industry hard as even a small restaurant will have to bear a hike of Rs 1200 per day as they require three cylinders for their daily requirement.
An emergency meeting of the association decided to demand immediate withdrawal of the hike. About 1.25 lakh hotels and restaurants in Kerala will remain shut on Friday as a part of the strike, he said.


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