Sunday, February 23, 2014

LPG dealers set to go on strike from February 25

LPG dealers set to go on strike from February 25
 NEW DELHI: Cooking gas distributors across the country have threatened to stop delivering refills indefinitely from February 25 to press for more relaxed marketing discipline guidelines, a move oil company executives said was aimed at derailing efforts to improve consumer service and end black-marketing of subsidised cylinders. 

The distributors, under the umbrella of Federation of LPG Distributors of India and All India LPG Distributors Federation, maintained disciplinary measures — including hefty fines and cancellation of dealerships — in the guidelines were biased against them and did not have any provision to ensure compliance by the oil marketing companies. 

AILDF general secretary Pawan Soni said more than 13,000 distributors, including rural ones, would stop delivering refills, except to hospitals, and attend to only emergencies such as leakage. 

There are roughly 15 crore cooking gas consumers in the country and nationwide disruption of delivery for even one day could create a huge backlog that could create a dominos effect by way of delayed delivery for weeks. 

The dealers alleged that many times the companies send underweight or expired cylinders and field supervisors threaten disciplinary actions if dealers try to return them. The dealers also alleged that the supervisors in rural areas were pressuring dealers to sell more commercial cylinders, even though there is hardly any demand for them in such areas. 

But senior executives of all the three state-run fuel retailers unanimously trashed the allegations and said some vested interests were driving the stir. "Certainly some of them are unhappy. There is no leniency for diversion in the present guidelines. The vested interests would like a situation to continue wherein they could get away by diverting subsidised cylinders. Honest dealers have nothing to fear in the guidelines and have provisions for rewards," one executive said. 

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