IOC expects solution at today’s meeting with dealers

The supply of LPG cylinders is likely to be disrupted from Tuesday as dealers in the State have announced their support to the all-India strike call given jointly by the All India LPG Distributors Federation and Federation of LPG Distributors of India, urging the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to accept their demands. In a seven-point agenda, the distributors have contended that the multiple pricing policy for domestic subsidised, domestic non-subsidised and commercial cylinders had led to diversion for which the distributors are being blamed.

Voicing concern over the implementation of Marketing Discipline Guidelines 2014 that imposes heavy financial penalties and termination of dealerships, N. Sathyan, secretary of All India LPG Distributors Federation (Karnataka Circle), told presspersons here on Sunday that the guidelines have been issued to overcome the “shortcomings (sic) of the oil marketing companies”.

“The termination clause in guidelines has to be removed and there should be a provision for third party appeal. Financial penalties should not be levied,” he said.

Opposing the appointment of new distributors, he said that the average monthly refill sale is about 7,000 (for each distributor), with which distributors are unable to meet their expenses. “The move to appoint 4,200 new distributors across the country will make LPG trade unviable making it difficult for many distributors without much sales,” he said.

The demand also includes ensuring fool-proof delivery system. The distributors have said that the sale of 2 kg, 3 kg and 5 kg cylinders should be stopped, as unauthenticated cylinders are being sold openly in the market by unscrupulous elements.

The federations are also urging the oil marketing companies to provide pilfer-proof seal to ensure the right quantity of gas in cylinders.

However, sources in the Indian Oil Corporation expressed the hope that a solution could be found at Monday’s meeting with the dealers.