Streamlining LPG Distribution!

Plan in advance and check exploiters…

No sensible soul will or should oppose administration’s efforts to reorganize their distribution system and that too when eradication of corruption and plugging the subsidy leakages will be the ultimate goal. However, before announcing any such policy authorities should devise clear and well defined norms and should give some gestation period to the plan. Announcing any decision in a hush-hush manner with no clear-cut policy and guidelines will lead to confusion and will obviously provide congenial atmosphere to exploiters and hoarders. Central petroleum ministry through petroleum companies has decided to cull  fake consumers and avoid duplications,  for that purpose they announced ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) scheme—a scheme related to about 115 million domestic LPG consumers in the country (Urban 83.3 & rural 31.2 million consumers). Deciding about the survival of about 254 million households with a dependent population of 1165 million (Source— Ministry of petroleum & Natural Gases at World LPG Forum2010 Madrid) should have been planned well in advance with meticulous planning and provision for exigencies in case of crisis or any failure of transitory mechanism. Simply issuing a circular from plush corridors of power and giving a free hand to dealers and their goons down below is unbecoming of a people’s government. At present on ground exploiters are on prowl to fleece one and all in the garb of KYC and in most of the cases all this exploitation goes under the nose of PDS authorities with an active support and patronage of LPG agency holders.

Just have a look around any of the LPG dealing outlets in Srinagar city or any other part of the valley; long queues, confusion, and routine brawls will welcome you at the first sight: peeping deep into the system, exploitation, corruption and insult will be your fate and destiny. At places the dealers have put frontmen to represent their nefarious interests. In and around the outlets a simple KYC form is sold at exorbitant rates, a document that was otherwise supposed to be provided by the dealer free of cost. At civil lines area of Jawahar Nagar—Lalmandi a dealer has handed over all his dealing rights to a rowdy and foulmouthed man who has placed a chair and the table on the roadside, uncouthly directing the consumers towards the nearest photocopier shop for KYC forms. This chaotic situation can be seen at every dealer’s outlet. At present in Srinagar a single cylinder of LPG in black-market is sold at one thousand rupees, rate even higher than the original cost and leave alone the subsidy component. This state of confusion and disorder has risen from the faulty and ill conceived policy of the oil ministry and failure of oil companies and their ill equipped dealers. It is duty of the state government to check harassment and exploitation of its people otherwise this simple issue of transition from a faulty mode to justified mode will lead to anarchy.