HPCL identifies 45,000 consumers with multiple LPG connections
Oil major, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), Goa, has identified about 14 per cent of its total registered consumers of LPG as having multiple connections or with false addresses.
In numerical terms, it comes to 45,000 customers out of the 3.2 lakh gas connections provided by the company.
An HPCL official said on Wednesday that all these consumers will have to come clean on their ownership details in the ongoing Know Your Customer (KYC) exercise conducted by all the domestic gas companies in the state.
Referring to the status of the KYC, due to which a mad rush is being witnessed at the distributors’ offices, the official said that 40 per cent of the customers identified by the company have already submitted their KYC forms and “perhaps the balance could not do so because of the confusion prevailing in agency outlets in recent days.”
The official said that it was not clear how many connections these consumers, who have been identified, have but it is definitely more than the allowable limit of one. He further said, “Once those with excess connections are weeded out, the number of customers registered with us would definitely decline.” The official said, “The idea is to co-ordinate with the other suppliers of domestic LPG to find out how many individuals have gas connections from other companies as there are quite a few of them in the state.” However, the exercise for cross connections would begin only after the current KYC implementation is over, he said.
Goa is a state with over 100 per cent usage of domestic gas as there are approximately 5.5 lakh gas connections covering some 14 lakh residents. Of this, HPCL with 28 distributing agencies is the largest, accounting for about 60 per cent of the market. The other two suppliers are Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) with 15 agencies and 1.6 lakh gas connections and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) with five agencies and around 60,000 connections.
On September 13, the central government came out with its new policy announcement on LPG gas, aimed at curbing the subsidy bill. As per this policy, all consumers are entitled to six subsidised cylinders a year and the balance need can be fulfilled by purchasing cylinders sold at market rate. With half of the financial year already over, consumers will be given three subsidised cylinders unless they fall in the ‘Goa government scheme’ bracket. The current market rate of an LPG cylinder is Rs 968.
In order to bring down consumption since LPG is being misused, each family will be allowed only one gas connection and any extra connections will have to be surrendered. Consumers can only order their cylinder through online booking. The HPCL official said that the online registration is already in place and that it will enable them to identify each user properly.
Meanwhile, figures for consumers with multiple connections in case of the other two LPG suppliers are not available but according to unofficial sources from the companies, it could be another 45,000 (from both the other suppliers). Looking at the crowds queuing up at the distributors’ offices to submit KYC forms, the deadline for it has been extended by the oil companies to November 16, 2012. [NT]