The waiting period for domestic LPG consumers in the State, particularly in Bangalore, has gone up to 20-25 days. Dealers say the situation should become normal by month-end
Delay in supply of refills by public sector oil marketing companies and issues concerned with direct benefit transfer of LPG appear to have extended the waiting period for domestic LPG consumers in the State, particularly in Bangalore, up to 20-25 days.
Normality in supply of domestic LPG refills was restored after a couple months of the March 2012 strike by bulk LPG transporters. The refills used to be available within a week of booking to most of the customers in the State, said one of the LPG distributors in South Bangalore.
However, since about a month there has been delay in supply by the oil marketing companies as a result of which the waiting period has gone up to 25 days for many customers, the distributor said.
Seconding the dealer’s claim, Srinivas Rao, a resident of Ullal Main Road, said that he had to wait for about 20 days to get his refill.
Secretary of All India LPG Dealers Federation, Karnataka Circle, N. Sathyan told The Hindu that there has been some delay in supply of refills by oil marketing companies.
Also, dealers have to shut operations for the first two days of the month as the oil marketing companies are updating their database to go for direct benefit transfer.
Customers are being asked, though not being compelled, to submit their Aadhar details to their distributors as well as to banks.
Mr. Sathyan said that as and when the customer provides the details to the distributor and the bank, he would be categorised as “cash transfer compliant customer”.
The oil marketing companies would initially deposit Rs. 435 each in their customers’ bank accounts. They would credit the subsidy amount [about Rs. 625] to the customers’ accounts once the distributors update the details of delivery of the refill cylinder. The sale price of refill cylinders for such customers is about Rs. 1,025, Mr. Sathyan said. He said that the situation should become normal by the month-end. A senior official of the Indian Oil Corporation, however, denied that there has been any delay in supply of refills to distributors. He said, “Yes, the waiting period went up to about 10 days recently because of two reasons — the winter season and expansion in the customer-base.”
Oil marketing companies have about 90 lakh customers in the State, of which about 30 lakh are from Bangalore.
He said that IOC has increased its bottling capacity at its Shimoga plant, from 15,000 refills a day to 25,000, thereby catering to areas up to Tumkur and Mysore.
The official also said that direct benefit transfer has no role in delayed supplies and that about 25 per cent of customers in Bangalore have submitted their Aadhar details.