Your cooking gas distributor can no longer take you for a ride. If you are not satisfied with the services of your present LPG distributor, you can dump him and choose another distributor.
On the lines of mobile number portability, the government on Friday announced a scheme where you can now change your LPG distributor. "LPG distributor (dealer) portability is being launched today in Chandigarh and will be extended to at least 25 more districts in the next fiscal," Union petroleum and natural gas minister M Veerappa Moily said at a news conference.
The scheme would be extended all over the country in a phased manner, he said.
"A pool of 2 to 3 dealers would be cleared for every locality in the district. Consumers will have the option of choosing from this cluster," Moily said.
But, unlike cellular services where consumers have the option to switch mobile companies, LPG consumers would, to begin with, will be allowed to change dealers, not the oil company. This means that if you are a consumer of Indane gas from Indian Oil Corp (IOC), you can only choose from Indane gas dealers in the locality.
A ministry official explained that inter-company portability was not legally possible for the time being as the law provides for a LPG cylinder belonging to a particular company to be given back to only that company for refills. However, he said, that the government is looking at the possibility of changing law or creating a situation where the consumer returns the cylinder to that particular company before availing a new connection from a different company.
Moily said the government will soon appoint 2,500 new LPG distributors after tweaking appointment rules.
He said the request for portability can be made electronically on the web portal and will be completed without manual intervention.