With a new financial year beginning on Tuesday, households will get to access their annual quota of 12 cooking gas cylinders at subsidised prices.
It is, however, unlikely to result in any unusual spurt in the refill bookings than that seen in the first few days of every month as public sector oil company officials say not all consumers utilised their quota of 11 subsidised cylinders last fiscal.
An increase in the bookings at the beginning of any other month is possible given that it coincides with the salary time.
Above that, only a small number of households, predominantly big in size, are likely to rush to get the refills, say officials of both Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL).
An overwhelming 85 per cent of the cooking gas customer base in Tamil Nadu is with these two companies.
Their projection of the demand pattern buttresses the case of national oil marketing companies that the hike in the annual quota of subsidised cylinders from nine to 12 refills is not required as only a small section of the households needs more than eight refills a year.
“Moreover, last month [March] many families ordered a refill just for the sake of not letting go of the quota unused,” a BPCL official says, adding that refill bookings are usually 10 per cent more in the first week. The demand for LPG is also relatively less in the April-June period because of summer and vacation time.
If it was quota renewal for households, Tuesday brought joy for other user-segments in the form of a reduction in prices. In Chennai, the drop was by Rs.163 per 19-kg commercial cylinder and Rs.100 for every non-subsidised domestic refill that is supplied to households once they exhaust their quota of subsidised cylinders. The price of a mini 5-kg cylinder came down by Rs.44.