Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Veerappa Moily on Wednesday announced the launch of the portability of LPG connection scheme across 480 districts of the country covering all the oil marketing companies (OMCs) and distributors which have multiple LPG distributors of various ratings.

With the launch of this new initiative, consumers can now switch to the distributor of his choice within a cluster of LPG distributors in the vicinity. This measure will bring great relief to those LPG consumers who are either unhappy with the services of their current distributor or want to move to an LPG distributor closer to their place of residence.

As a pilot project, the OMCs together launched LPG connection portability scheme in 24 districts covering 13 States in October last year. However, Mr. Moily said this was being extended on all India basis by expanding its coverage to over 480 districts and a population of over 8.2 crore LPG consumers across the country.

In order to facilitate LPG consumers to benefit from the portability scheme, the OMCs have made more than 1,400 clusters distributors in over 480 districts with an average of almost 4 distributors per cluster to choose from. The details about these clusters are available on the OMC websites. It has also been ensured that the portability scheme now covers all possible markets that are having distributors of multiple companies coupled with the scope for formation of clusters. The procedure to opt for portability is very simple.

To register for portability, the LPG consumers need to do the following visit the website of three OMCs – Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and register themselves. The consumers can then see the distributors in the cluster and their star rating in terms of refill delivery performance and then select the distributor of their choice from the cluster and submit request. Subsequently, the consumer will receive an email confirming the registration and advising details of further procedure. In case of inter-company transfer, i.e. between two different OMCs, since the LPG equipment is not compatible across companies, the consumer will have to visit the current distributor and surrender the cylinder and pressure regulator, collect the refund/transfer documents and then approach the distributor of his/her choice for reconnection by paying the same deposit as earlier. No Transfer fee or additional security deposit will be charged for transfer of connection under the portability scheme.

The success of this scheme lies in conferring the power with the consumer to be able to change the distributor and the oil company, which forces the distributor and oil company to perform and not in large number of portability requests, Mr. Moily said in a statement.

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