Veerappa Moily in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI)
New Delhi, Jan. 11: Domestic cooking gas customers can now change their dealers, with the government allowing partial portability in LPG on the lines of mobile phone services.
However, unlike cellular services where users have the option to switch between operators, LPG consumers can only change their dealers and not the oil company providing the gas cylinders.
So, if you are a consumer of Indane Gas from Indian Oil Corporation, you have an option to choose from Indane Gas dealers in the locality. But you cannot switch to Bharat Gas of Bharat Petroleum or HP Gas of Hindustan Petroleum.
In the second phase, the government may offer portability between companies.
“LPG distributor (dealer) portability is being launched today in Chandigarh and will be extended to at least 25 more districts in the next fiscal,” oil minister M. Veerappa Moily told reporters here.
The scheme will be extended all over the country in a phased manner.
“A pool of 2 to 3 dealers will be cleared for every locality in the district. Consumers will have the option of choosing from this cluster,” Moily said.
Officials said portability among companies could not be allowed as under the law an LPG cylinder of a particular company can be submitted only to that firm for refills.
“We are looking at the possibility of changing the law or creating a situation where the consumer returns the cylinder to that particular company before getting a new connection from a different company,” an official said.
Moily said the request for portability can be made on the portal and will be completed without manual intervention.
Price hike call
The oil minister today said the government would take a decision on raising diesel and cooking fuel prices “as quickly as possible”.
Sources said the Congress top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi, today discussed the report of the Vijay Kelkar panel on fiscal consolidation that calls for a sharp rise in fuel prices.