Dealers may have to revert to old software

Consumers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in city were put to severe hardship for the second consecutive day on Thursday as the impasse over whether to give extension time for consumers to link their Aadhaar number to LPG connection number and bank account continued till late in the evening.

From morning, people thronged the retail outlets of public sector oil marketing companies in the city to enquire about the delivery of cylinders and also to do the mandatory linking process, but they failed to get any of the services.

Directive

Consumers had to return home empty-handed after dealers informed them about the directive from the regional office of oil marketing companies not to even log onto the new software till further announcement.

An employee of an LPG outlet on Akkulam Road said they had been told to stop all transactions till further announcement.

“Not a single delivery was made from Wednesday. We had to bear the ire of the public. As we were clueless we could not give the public a satisfactory answer,” he said.

General secretary of the All India LPG Distributors Federation (Kerala Circle), Sangeeth Kumar, told The Hindu that dealers were asked on Wednesday morning to stop all operations.

There was some clarity on the issue by Thursday evening, he said, adding that a decision was taken to give a two-month grace period for linking the Aadhaar number with the bank account.

Change

Mr. Kumar said the software used by all dealers was changed by December 30 to roll out the direct benefit transfer of LPG subsidy.

“Now with the companies deciding to follow the earlier distribution pattern for the next two months, the old software has to be introduced again. This has to be done centrally. If they change the software by midnight, we could start the operations by Friday,” he added.

Appeal to Minister

Meanwhile, the Federation of Residents Associations Thiruvananthapuram has sent a memorandum to Union Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily seeking his intervention in the issue.

The association urged the Minister to prevail upon the companies to withdraw the price hike and provide consumers 12 subsidised cylinders a year.