'Delivery is based on date and not quota’

Even as the oil marketing companies (OMCs) marginally reduced the rates of LPG domestic non-subsidised cylinders (Rs. 3), thousands of households who had not exhausted their quota of nine subsidised cylinders will not be able to avail themselves of this benefit, as the OMCs have refused to provide subsidised cylinders of the previous year after the expiry of the March 31 deadline.

The government last year fixed the cap on subsidised cylinders at nine per household a year. Beyond this, consumers would have to buy cylinders at the market rate. As the period between the initial announcement of the cap of six cylinders, which was later raised to nine, came at the middle of last year, many households were unable to finish their quota and had hoped that they would be able to draw their quota even after March 31.

However, in what came as a rude shock to consumers was the decision of the OMCs that consumers will not be entitled to draw their remaining quota in the next financial year.

“We have given clear instructions that the delivery will be based on the date and not the quota. Even if someone has booked a cylinder before March 31 and the delivery takes place in April, it will be counted in the next year’s quota,” a senior OMC official said.

It is understood that almost 5 to 6 per cent of households could stand to lose their quota of subsidised cylinders for 2012-13.

The OMCs have around 14.5 crore consumers all over the country and supply nearly 100 crore cylinders per annum. A 14.2-kg subsidised LPG cylinder is being sold at Rs. 410.50 in Delhi.

Reduction of Rs. 3

The OMCs announced a reduction by Rs. 3 a non-subsidised cylinder in line with fall in international rates. A 14.2-kg LPG cylinder will now cost Rs. 901.50 from Monday.

With crude oil prices easing, the rates were cut to Rs. 904.50 from March 1 and now they been further cut to Rs. 901.50. In Mumbai, a cylinder will cost Rs. 912, against Rs. 919.50 till last month. In Kolkata, the price has been cut by Rs. 6.50 to Rs. 926.50, while in Chennai it has been reduced from Rs. 898 to 891.50. Similarly, losses on sale of LPG at subsidised rates have fallen to Rs. 434.50 a cylinder from Rs. 439.

Keywords: OMCsLPGSubsidyQuota