LPG portability in Andhra Pradesh from Oct 6

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Hyderabad: Nearly 17 lakh domestic LPG consumers in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam can avail the LPG portability scheme announced by the Centre on Wednesday.Initially the scheme will be applicable only in these two cities of the state, online, from October 6, but it will be gradually extended to all the other major cities and towns in a phased manner.There are 12 lakh domestic LPG consumers in Hyderabad and five lakh in Vizag.Under the scheme, a consumer can change his/her gas agency within a cluster of LPG distributors in the vicinity and across the oil companies, namely HPCL, BPCL and IOC, at the press of a button through the online method. The consumer doesn’t have to inform his/her existing gas agency for the purpose. The scheme will be launched by petroleum minister Veerappa Moily in Bengaluru.Don’t like dealer? Just changeThe oil ministry’s decision to allow inter-company LPG portability in choosing his distributor is expected to benefit consumers, who are not satisfied with the services of their gas agency or OMC.“Consumers in Andhra Pradesh can avail the scheme (online LPG portability scheme) from October 6,” Madhukar Ingole, AP LPG coordinator for oil marketing companies (OMCs) said on Wednesday.There are about 120 gas agencies in Hyderabad and about 50 in Vizag. Service rating will be provided for all the gas agencies and consumers can see them online before opting for the agency of their choice based on their service levels.To make it easier for the consumers, the option can be registered electronically on the website of the OMCs they are attached to.Electronic tracking of the portability request and closure is in place to ensure that a  consumer does not have any difficulty in moving to a distributor of his choice.“We welcome the portability scheme which will be beneficial for consumers. However, the Centre and the OMCs have to address certain issues before implementing it,” said Hyderabad LPG Dealers’ Association president D. Ashok Kumar.He said that consumers are facing problems after the direct benefit transfer scheme came into force because of the additional financial burden and because the subsidy is not credited in their bank accounts.“Consumers blame the gas agencies for this though we have no role in it. Similarly, the oil marketing companies (OMCs) are not supplying adequate cylinders to meet the demand leading to backlogs and delay in delivery of cylinders. Again, consumers are finding fault with the agencies for this,” Kumar said.“If these issues are addressed, the portability scheme will go a long way in offering best services for consumers besides bringing competition among agencies to offer best services to retain existing consumers,” he added. 

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