LPG distributors on strike from tomorrow

LPG distributors on strike from tomorrow

LPG distribution will be affected from February 25 as distributors across the country have decided to launch an indefinite strike urging the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the oil marketing companies to concede to their demands.

Though consumers would be able to make their bookings through IVRS, there will be no delivery service. This includes supply of both commercial and domestic cylinders including that of hotels and hospitals. Withdrawal of service for one day is likely to cause a backlog for seven days.

The All India LPG Distributors Federation (AILDF), which has called for the protest has put forth a list of seven demands. Beginning with provision of pilfer-proof seal on cylinders, their demands include uniform pricing for cylinders, checking sale of spurious cylinders, fool-proof delivery system and review of the existing distributorship agreement.

Speaking to reporters here on Sunday after announcing the strike, AILDF Karnataka Circle secretary N Sathyan said it was imperative to immediately stop spurious cylinders in the market.

“There are so many brands of 2 kg, 3 kg and 5 kg cylinders in the market. These are not only illegal but hazardous,” he added.

Further, a pilfer-proof seal on cylinders had to be incorporated. The plastic seal on cylinders at present can be easily manipulated, he said.

In addition, the distributors have sought the government to have uniform pricing for cylinders. “At present there is a different price for the subsidised domestic cylinders of 14.2 kg and for the non-subsidised ones. Now that the government has stated that Aadhaar is not mandatory for accessing subsidy, this problem might ease out,” said Sathyan.

The ministry has also directed the companies to appoint 2,700 (regular) and 1,500 (Rajiv Gandhi Gramin LPG Vitaran Yojana) new distributors which would make it non-viable for the existing distributors.

Moreover, distributors are indignant that the accountability for any fault in the supply chain is placed only on them.

The Marketing Discipline Guidelines 2014 the government has sought to implement imposes heavy penalty and termination of distributorship in case of loopholes in supply.

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