Govt eases 5-kg LPG cylinder procurement

Govt eases 5-kg LPG cylinder procurement

With an eye on elections, the government has made it easy for people to procure cooking gas, especially for a vast majority of migrant labourers and students.

Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily on Thursday appr­oved a proposal for Free Trade LPG (FTL) Scheme for selling 5-kg LPG cylinders through petrol pumps owned and operated by public-sector companies. These cooking gas cylind­ers can be obtained without the hassles of getting a permanent LPG connection. The scheme will be launched on a pilot basis in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore.

As against the requirement of identity and address proof for obtaining a permanent LPG connection, procuring small cylinders only needs a proof of identity.

The official statement said the FTL Scheme is targeted at a new category of consumers in big cities who are mobile and thus do not want a permanent LPG connection. A large number of labourers in the unorganised sector also complain about non-availability of cylinders ever since the norms for obtaining LPG cylinders were tightened and the number of subsidised cylinders was restricted.

“A first time consumer will have to provide voter identity card, driving licence, PAN card, Aadhaar card, bank pass book, employee ID, passport, student ID or any other such document that can act as a proof of identity,” said the statement said.

Although the market price of the 5-kg LPG cylinder to be refilled from the petrol pumps have been kept more than twice the price of the subsidised 5-kg cylinder, it will still cost lower than what is being sold in the open market.

A subsidised 5-kg LPG cylinder costs Rs 152 in Delhi. At PSU petrol pumps it will be available at Rs 362. In the open market it varies from Rs 450-500.

Labourers’ travails

Usually, the unorganised-sector labourers, who do not have access to residence or identity proof, end up paying the exorbitant prices of the open market. 

The decision has been taken in view of the fact that over the years, a new category of consumers has emerged, especially in big cities, who are mobile and thus do not want a permanent LPG connection, but still require LPG for their needs.

Such customers need flexibility for getting LPG cylinders as per their convenience, and their needs can also be fulfilled by smaller quantities of LPG, said the statement.

“The scheme is a step towards beginning of the free trade of LPG, and would make cooking gas available for wider use, especially for those citizens who are always on the move due to their professional needs,” it said.

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