SRINAGAR: The LPG dealers have apprehended that proposed addition of more than 190 new dealership will end up in making the trade non profitable, asking the government to work for a rationale distribution network to ensure LPG distribution to the customer, besides safeguarding dealer profitability.
In the new dispensation, government of India is mulling to add more than 190 dealerships in the state, while the present dealers say that there is need to add a LPG bottling plant in the valley to churn out more production to keep up with the increasing demand of the present dealers.
Abdul Hamid Secretary of All Kashmir LPG Dealers Association (AKLPGDA) told Kashmir Reader that too much additional dealerships will ultimately make the trade loss making.
Hamid said that to ensure prompt supply to customers, there has to be an equal support from the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in maintaining a constant supply.
“Ensuring hassle-free delivery of cooking gas has been achieved to great extent, but we need a prompt supply from OMC to ensure that the cylinder is delivered on time to the consumer,” he said. Adding that against the demand of 15000 cylinders daily for consumers for Hindustan Petroleum, market leader in LPG segment in valley, their plant at Pampore has a capacity of delivering 12,000.
“The situation demands that either a new bottling plant be added or the capacity of the present one be upgraded so that supply is maintained to the dealers,” he said, adding that with stringent rules for dealers in offing we too need a faithful supply.
Under these new rules India’s Oil ministry has come up with marketing discipline guidelines (MDG) 2014, which has more stringent distribution norms besides penalties and even cancellation of distributorship in case customers do not get LPG cylinders on time or any reports of diversion of LPG.
Even though the dealers at All India level are opposing this move, Hamid said the penalties and cancellation of dealerships are quite harsh, and in many cases the cylinder delivery gets delayed in valley because of low supply form OMCs.
The dealers here say that only HP does have a bottling facility in place, while the supply for Indian Oil Company (OIC) and Bharat Petroleum (BP) get their supply from outside and in case of closure of the Jammu Srinagar Highway, they get supply from HP plant that however after cut backs on HP supply.
Hamid said that their association also opposes the moves of providing 5kg LPG cylinders at petrol pumps that would neglect the safety aspect of handling this commodity.