Cooking gas consumers seem to be a confused lot as far as filling up the “know your customer” (KYC) form is concerned.
The direction of oil companies that any household, which has more than one LPG connection or furnishes wrong address proof, must fill up the KYC form or face cancellation of connections has triggered a rush of consumers at gas agency offices in the state capital.
Clarifying about the KYC form, Bharat Gupta, an employee of Devyanti Gas Agency on Boring Canal Road, said: “Indian Oil has directed us that households with more than one gas connections have to submit the KYC form by October 31, failing which the existing connections would be cancelled. The idea behind introducing the form is to find out authenticity of people with more than one gas connection. Submission of KYC form will help ascertain exact number of consumers holding more than one gas connection.”
Gupta, however, said it would not apply to single-connection consumers, as the new drive aims to check the misuse and hoarding of LPG cylinders by multiple-connection users. “Single households have been found to have more than one gas connection from different agencies. In Patna, around 60 agencies supply cooking gas from Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum,” added Gupta.
Gupta added that each consumer has to provide his name, proof of address, PAN, bank account among other details in the two-page form.
Vijay Kumar, an employee of RK Gas Agency at Maurya Lok, said: “All three oil companies have introduced a common software to find out the authenticity of anyone who applies for a fresh gas connection. Details for fresh connection would be verified online. If the applicant is found already holding a gas connection at the same address, his application would be disqualified.”
Oil companies have directed gas agencies to make submission of KYC forms mandatory, while consumers are still complaining about problems in getting gas on time.
Indira Jha, a resident of Mainpura, said: “The gas agency assures us delivery of a fresh cylinder in seven days. Often it takes 20 days.” Angry about the annual cap on subsidised LPG cylinders, Jha said: “In our household, 14.2kg LPG cylinders run for barely 20-25 days. When prices of all essential commodities are soaring, buying non-subsidised gas cylinder will add burden to our household budget,” said Jha. She added that the new rules have forced her to consider cooking alternatives such as induction cook tops, rice cooker and sandwich toaster.
A sales executive of Shuv Vision, an electrical appliance shop at Twins Tower, said: “In the past month, the sale of electronic cooking appliances have picked up. We sell induction cook tops for Rs 3,600 each, rice cookers for Rs 2,695 and sandwich toasters for Rs 1,395.”
New regulations mandate that every household would get three subsidised LPG cylinders at Rs 431.50 between September 14, 2012, and March 31, 2013, while the non-subsidised ones would cost Rs 989.50 each, the rate of which would be given on the first day of every month.