Call for extension of KYC scheme till March 31, 2013

LPG distributors want the Government to consider increasing the cap on number of subsidised domestic cylinders to nine for cities from six annually as desired by customers.

According to distributors, the requirement of LPG cylinders in rural or smaller towns is lower, therefore the request for increasing the cap for cities.

While seeking extension of deadline for filing of know your customer (KYC) forms till March 31, 2013, the distributors, under the aegis of the All India LPG Distributors Federation, made a representation to the Oil Minister.

The Government has extended the November 30 deadline by a month (December 31) for KYC implementation, but distributors and customers are still facing difficulties of implementation.

The KYC scheme seeks to enable the public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) weed out multiple domestic LPG connection holders and ensure that the capping of subsidised domestic LPG connections to six cylinders annually per household is implemented smoothly.

KYC, which is at present only for multiple connection holders belonging to Same Name Same Address (SNSA) category, would be extended to Different Name Same Address (DNSA) and subsequently to single connection.

Outlining some of the difficulties faced by customers, a Delhi-based distributor told Business Line that many customers were not aware about which category to fill in the KYC form. This was leading to almost every customer visiting the distributor to enquire his/her status, he said.

A distributor said delay in implementation in Chennai and Delhi was because of non-availability of sufficient stationery (for purposes of new connections, surrendering connection, name change, release of double bottle connection, issue of transfer letter), which is to be provided by the oil marketing companies.

The de-duplication software was also very slow and the results were not forthcoming even after months, another distributor said. Besides, the data provided by the OMCs are either incomplete or wrong. Also, adding to customer woes was the fact that KYC forms were in English and not in regional languages.

Chandra Prakash, General Secretary, All India LPG Distributors Federation, said “while we are required to follow the policies of OMC and Ministry, our sincere efforts without proper infrastructure and reimbursement of cost will bring hardship to consumers and criticism from media and will give distributors a bad name.”

In fact, for customers in Delhi, distributors are proposing to offer a mobile helpline number for customer queries.

(This article was published on December 5, 2012)
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