LPG associations have deferred the LPG strike that was scheduled on October 1 on account of the festive season ahead.
They have written to the ministry at the Centre with their complaints and suggestions and said if their demands are not looked into,they would be forced to go on strike.
“We have to deal with four different kinds of rates. The usual subsidised price for domestic cylinders is Rs 410,and the price beyond the subsidy cap varies between Rs 700 and 800. For non-domestic essential usage,such as at orphanages and hospitals,the rate is Rs 963.58,and the commercial rate varies between Rs 1,300 and 1,400. Maintaining this requires a huge staff strength,which is not possible at the present commission we get,” said Sushanta Mukherjee,president,West Bengal LPG Distributors’ Forum. He said the proposed raise in the commission was from Rs 25.87 to Rs 65 per cylinder.
Dealers also said that after the capping on subsidy was implemented,there has been a jump in applications for new connections. So most companies have stopped allotting new connections.
“People are trying all sorts of strategies to get multiple connections. Previously we used to get about 10 applications daily. Now the number is around 25-30. We have been working overtime to ensure there were no illegal connections. We have stopped giving new connections at the moment,” said Sukamal Kr Sen,a city-based dealer of Bharat Gas and secretary of the Bharat Gas Distributors’ Welfare Association (Eastern Region).
Sanjay Agarwal,zonal secretary,All India HP Gas Dealers Association,said,”Queries and applications have increased 4-5 times the usual rate. We have stopped giving new connections for the time being.”
Distributors also said they would lose out because of the delay in submitting the pricing system from the government’s end. The new rules were put into effect on September 14 while the disparity in price in non-exempted categories like government hospitals,jails,etc was communicated to them only on September 25.