Although the cap on subsidised cooking gas cylinders will take effect next month, gas agencies are having a field day in the Kashmir Valley as they are already over-charging consumers.
An artificial scarcity of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has hit the valley much before the cap comes into effect.
"I bought an LPG refill for Rs.1,200 whereas I used to pay only Rs.413 till now," complained Fida Hussain, a Srinagar resident.
People in Baramulla, Anantnag, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Badgam, Kupwara, Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam towns also allege that dealers are refusing to issue LPG refills or over-charging the consumers.
"There is confusion as to what we are to do to get papers to secure LPG connections. Dealers and even officers are clueless," said Manzoor Ahmad, 34, of Anantnag town.
The central government has ordered that each family can get only six subsidized cooking gas cylinders in a year. Congress-run states announced later that they would supply three more subsidised cylinders.
Jammu and Kashmir Consumer Affairs minister Qamar Ali Akhoon last week said the state government was also planning to raise the cap from six to nine cylinders.