A Big Blow to Consumers - The New Indian Express

A Big Blow to Consumers

Published: 02nd January 2014 09:34 AM

Last Updated: 02nd January 2014 09:34 AM

All is not well for LPG consumers in the city as they have received a new year shock in the form of price hike for the fuel.  As customers are furious about the price increase, the distributors are groping in the dark since a confusion prevails about linking the Aadhar number with the gas connection and bank account number.

The non-subsidised billing for LPG cylinders commenced on Wednesday. But the rate of LPG cylinders without subsidy has increased by `230 per cylinder taking the market rate to Rs 1293.50.

Distributors point out that the LPG price hike is a usual one as it happens on every first day of the month. During the November-March period the price remained in the high trajectory because of increased demand, they said.

On Tuesday, the price of domestic cylinder was Rs 1063.50 and that of the commercial one was Rs  1793.50. The prices have changed to  Rs 1293.50 and Rs  2184.50 respectively.

“The price of LPG is fixed according to the price in international market. We have received instructions to hold the billing temporarily. But we have not received any official communication in this regard. For the time being we are liable to charge the new market price which came into effect on January 1,” said George Varghese, president, Kerala Indane Distributors Forum.

Though there are reports that the deadline for linking customers’ Aadhar number to the gas connection has been extended by two more months, the distributors said that they have not received any official communication in this regard.

Joy Kalappura, general secretary, All-Kerala Bharatgas Distributors Association, said that distributors have been receiving many instructions via SMS and email but  there is no clarity about the exact scenario.

“Unless we receive a written official communication regarding the extension we will continue to levy the new price on the customers. Since there’s panic among the public about the price increase, many suppliers have not attempted to deliver the cylinders to the customers,” he said.

Distributors claimed that 75 per cent of the customers have already linked their gas connection with Aadhar number.

The exercise commenced on March 2012 and if the deadline is extended it is likely to misguide the customers who in turn would hesitate to link the Aadhar number, they said.

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