Four crore new LPG consumers in four years

Mumbai, Jan 10 (IANS) A whopping four crore customers acquired new liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) domestic gas connections in the past four years, increasing the customer base from 10.6 crore to 14.7 crore.

This represents a 39 percent increase in growth with around one crore new LPG consumers added each year, an official spokesperson said Friday.
It is expected that by 2015, all the oil marketing companies (OMCs) – Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum – shall together account for more than 16 crore gas consumers.
The development is in tune with the Vision-2015 document of the the ministry of petroleum and natural gas under which the LPG coverage is expected to substantially increase from 50 percent to 75 percent of the country’s population.
However, in contrast, the LPG distributor strength grew by only 13 percent – from 9,366 to 10,555 – during the same period, putting pressure on the supply chains.
With the increase in the number of LPG consumers, now the customers per distributor have also shot up 24 percent, which has affected customer service, the spokesperson said.
To bridge this gap, increase cylinder availability and generate employment, the OMCs have initiated measures to appoint around 3,000 regular LPG distributorships across the country.
The OMCs have also introduced LPG portability all over India and market-priced five kg cylinders for the mobile population that cannot provide requisite documentation to avail a gas connection in five metro cities.
From June 2013, the OMCs have also introduced Direct Benefit Transfer in LPG in 291 districts, covering more than 7,800 distributors. This helps improve customer service, eliminate illegal diversion of subsidised LPG cylinders and improve availability for genuine consumers.
For the distributors, the OMCs have introduced rating systems based on delivery performance as part of “Project Lakshya”, rewards, commissions and other changes to cater to increasing customer expectations.