If you have suddenly run out of cooking gas in your kitchen, do not panic. Cooking gas (domestic LPG) will soon be available at select petrol pumps in metro cities after the government on Wednesday allowed sale of small 5-kg cylinders.
Petroleum minister M Veerappa Moily has approved a proposal to launch the scheme on pilot basis in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore for selling 5 kg LPG cylinders with/without Domestic Pressure Regulator (DPR) at COCO retail outlets. HT first reported this about a month and a half ago.
These 5-kg LPG cylinders will, however, be available at the market price (which is almost double that of the subsidised price of domestic LPG) at the company-owned-company-operated petrol pumps, which make up for just 3% of over 47,000 petrol pumps in the country.
Currently the subsidised LPG cylinders are being made available at rate of Rs. 28.8 per kg (or Rs. 410 per 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi). A 5 kg LPG cylinder would then cost somewhere around Rs. 300.
"The Government has approved Free Trade LPG (FTL) Scheme for selling 5 kg LPG cylinders through Company Owned Retail Outlets (COCO) PSU Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs)," an official statement said on Wednesday.
"The OMCs have COCO retail outlets which are accessible to all and are open for longer hours," it said. Officials said the cylinders would be made available as early as August 15.
Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum together have 1,440 COCO pumps all over the country.
"This decision has been taken in view of the fact that over the years, a new category of consumers have emerged especially in big cities that are mobile and thus do not want a permanent LPG connection but still require LPG for their needs," the statement said.
Such customers need flexibility for getting the LPG cylinders as per their convenience and their needs can also be fulfilled by smaller quantities of LPG.
The LPG sold under the scheme will be called Free Trade LPG (FTL). At the time of first sale cost of the equipment (cylinder), cost of product at prevailing non-domestic 5-kg cylinders price and administrative charges will be payable.
At the time of subsequent refill, only the cost of product will be payable.