After the success of pilot programmes in five metro cities,Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily today allowed the sale of 5-kg cooking gas (LPG) cylinders at petrol pumps across the country.
The scheme,launched on October 5,allowed petrol pumps owned and operated by oil companies in Delhi,Mumbai,Kolkata,Chennai and Bengaluru to sell the 5-kg cylinders. Company owned and operated outlets make up for 3 per cent of the 47,000 petrol pumps in the country.
Now,Moily has permitted the sale of these smaller cylinders at all petrol pumps across the country,official sources said.
The smaller cylinders will be sold at market rates,which are more than double the subsidised price of Rs 410 per 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi.
However,the scheme will be deferred in Delhi,Rajasthan,Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh,where assembly elections are being held in November and December.
The Oil Ministry today issued orders extending the scheme to other parts of the country.
Retail outlets not owned and operated by the oil companies may be included in the scheme,subject to statutory clearances,it said. Such petrol pumps have to fulfil the safety norms and conditions provided in the scheme.
Indian Oil,Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum own and operate a combined 1,440 outlets across the country. For the launch of the scheme,a few dozen pumps in the five cities were initially chosen.
The scheme will be a boon for the migratory population such as students,IT professionals and BPO employees,as well as people with odd work hours. It offers them the flexibility to pick up cylinders and obtain refills at the time of their choice because petrol stations are open for longer hours than LPG dealers,sources said.