Demand withdrawal of discipline guidelines, norms for new dealerships

Cooking gas consumers may face difficulty in getting refills, with the All India LPG Distributors Federation (AILDF) threatening to stop supply if their demand for withdrawal of marketing discipline guidelines and changes in norms for allotment of new distributorships are not met.

According to the dealers, the new marketing discipline guidelines are too harsh and against fair practices. The Government has imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh for failing to meet the discipline standards.

On Monday, the Federation staged a protest in New Delhi and gave its representation to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

“We will wait for 10 days and then decide on our future course. We may opt for stopping delivery of refills if the Government and oil-marketing companies do not agree to our demands,” said Chandra Prakash, General Secretary of AILDF.

The new marketing discipline guidelines categorise mistakes by dealers into three categories – minor, major and critical. If the dealer commits three major mistakes, the dealership licence will be forfeited. On the other side, two critical mistakes would result in loss of licence.

Prakash said the dealers had been in talks with the Government since 2008, but their views were not included in the revised guidelines.

The dealers said the imposed penalties were higher than the revenue generated by a dealer in the entire year. There are nearly 15 crore cooking gas customers in the country and about 10 crore refills are supplied a year.

NEW DISTRIBUTORS

The AILDF also wanted the Government to re-think on the appointment of new distributors.

This is because there are locations where current dealers have not achieved the ceiling limit and a new advertisement has been issued. Prakash cited the example of Jalandhar where piped cooking gas supply had been announced but the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas was still offering new distributorships.

Siddhartha.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on January 6, 2014)
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