Dealers refusing to lift kerosene, alleges Mandrekar

Holding the kerosene dealers responsible for government’s failure to implement its scheme as regards making available kerosene to public from the open market, the Minister for Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Mr Dayanand Mandrekar on Friday said that the government had already procured kerosene from the open market but the dealers refuse to lift the same due to low profit margin.

It may be recalled that the state government had announced working out a mechanism by August 15, 2012, for procurement of kerosene from the open market so as to make up for the 73 per cent reduction in the state quota by the central government. The state government had further maintained that it would, at the same time fight for its share of the central quota of kerosene.

The Minister for Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, addressing a press conference further said that in an attempt to tide over the acute shortage of kerosene faced by the people of Goa, the government had decided to procure white kerosene from open market and to supply it to the Public Distribution System (PDS), with a subsidy of Rs 28 per litre. "The present rate of kerosene in open market is Rs 68 per litre, and the government had decided to provide a subsidy of Rs 28 for every litre of kerosene," he informed, pointing out, "That way the rate of kerosene would have come down to Rs 40 per litre."

Admitting that the kerosene scenario in the state is very serious, Mr Mandrekar maintained that the state government continuously tried to request the former Minister for Oil and Natural Gas, Mr Jaipal Reddy as regards increasing Goa’s share of kerosene, but received no response.

Speaking further, the Minister for Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs said that lot of malpractices exists in the department of Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, and in spite of the knowledge of the same, the director of the department is scared to act against it.

Mr Mandrekar also said that the central government has no correspondence of any kind with the state government as regards the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) scenario. "And then the LPG companies are holding the entire population of LPG consumers in Goa to ransom through KYC (know your customer) procedure, due to the 32,000 multiple or ghost connections," he claimed. Finally, the Minister for Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs did not rule out the possibility of some of the owners of the fair price shops selling the quota of rice received by them, in the open market, through their own private shops.

"I cannot guarantee 100 per cent honesty of the owners of fair price shops," he concluded. [NT]