The National Federation of LPG Distributors of India,North Western Region (NFLDI),has sent a written submission to the four oil companies today regarding the immediate formulation of a mechanism for the proper delivery of cooking gas cylinders under the new subsidy guidelines. If a consensus is not reached within two days between the oil companies and LPG distributors,consumers might be left in the lurch as dealers are speculating that they will stop delivering cooking gas cylinders at residences.
Due to a bharat bandh,delivery service will remain suspended on September 20 when discussions are likely to happen between the two parties,in the absence of which consumers will have to pick cylinders from the godown themselves. With the ongoing apprehension regarding bearing of price difference in case of incorrect delivery of a gas cylinder,distributors are worried about the huge losses to them if they have to pay the Rs 400 margin on a cylinder without subsidy,on which their own commission would be barely Rs 25,said K J S Buttar,President of NFLDI North Western region.
There should be full-proof company guidelines regarding the correct delivery of cylinders by way of verifiable evidence. The signature of consumers should be obtained on the cash memo as well as proper entry in the blue-books should be ensured before the new guidelines are effectively ensured, said Buttar.
Representatives from the oil companies,though,have opined that blue-books are made available at the time of release of a new connection in which entry is to be made at the time of receipt of a new cylinder by a consumer and that nearly 90 percent of customers in Chandigarh already posses them. Even if some consumers do not have them now,they can be made available at a nominal price. Also,the software that generates a print out of the cash memo will be installed, said a spokesperson from Indian Oil Corporation Limited.
Distributors are highlighting that it remains to be ensured that there is no diversion of the subsidized cylinders due to black marketing in the distribution process. Bulk orders,which were priced at domestic rates,have been allowed three cylinders till the end of the financial year in March after which a decision will be taken on them, said Harminder Singh,distributor at a Chandigarh gas agency in Sector 17.
To the suggestion by distributors of setting up a one-price mechanism for LPG distribution and direct transfer of subsidy to consumer bank accounts,oil companies say that they will first consider the nitty gritty involved in the procedure.