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LPG dealers threaten to go on strike from Feb 25

Siddhartha P Saikia New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Doing away with multiple pricing of LPG cylinders and providing pilfer-proof seals are among the demands of the dealers.

Raise multiple issues with Petroleum Ministry

LPG dealers across the country have threatened to go on strike starting February 25 if the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas does not agree to their multiple demands. This means that cooking gas refills would not be delivered during the strike days.

The dealers have accused private sector banks such as Axis Bank and ICICI Bank of an alleged scam in the direct transfer of subsidy to consumers.

"These banks have created false accounts and siphoned off consumers’ money. The consumers blame distributors for the discrepancy but the dealers are nowhere involved," said Pawan Soni, General Secretary of the Federation of LPG Distributors of India.

The strike would continue till the Government agrees to all their demands. However, it would not impact essential consumers such as hospitals, said Chandra Prakash, General Secretary of the All India LPG Distributors’ Federation.

The demands of the dealers include:

Multiple pricing: Federations say multiple pricing leads to diversion (a domestic subsidised cylinder costs Rs 400 to 450 approximately, whereas a non-subsidised cylinder costs Rs1,240 to Rs 1,275. A 19 kg commercial cylinder is priced at Rs 1,850 to 1,900). Such varied pricing is the main cause for discrepancies in the LPG trade, for which the distributors are blamed for no fault of theirs.

Pilfer-proof seals on cylinders: The distributors have been urging the oil marketing companies to provide pilfer-proof seals on cylinders so that consumers get the right quantity of gas. In the absence of such pilfer-proof seals, unscrupulous elements pilfer gas and transfer it from one cylinder to another, which is hazardous to life and property.

Stop sale of smaller spurious cylinders: Pilferage of LPG is also responsible for the sale of 2/3/5 kg spurious cylinders sold openly in the market.

Fool-proof delivery system: At present there is no system that ensures fool-proof home delivery.

Marketing Discipline Guidelines (MDG): The dealers have opposed the heavy financial penalties and termination of distributorship clauses under the MDG. According to them, making the distributors responsible for all the lapses in the system and highlighting them as the only wrongdoers in the whole system is unjustified.

Appointment of new distributors: The federations have demand immediate cancellation of newly advertised distributorships that are based on anti-poor and pro-rich policies, benefitting only the creamy layer of society and advertised arbitrarily without complying with the directions given by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

>siddhartha.s@thehindu.co.in

Published on February 22, 2014

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