LPG consumer card distribution hit

KATHMANDU: The consumer card distribution process, launched at the initiative of Gas Dealers’ Federation Nepal (GDFN), sems to be petering out at the gas depots due to lack of effectiveness among the consumers.

Though GDFN started the consumer card distribution process to control black marketing of LPG cylinders in the market and for effective supply of household cylinders, there still are several gas depots that are avoiding the card system.

According to the gas depots, the consumer card system does not have clarity and hence lacks consumer satisfaction though it promises to bring effectiveness in the supply of house hold cylinders even during shortage periods.

“ Unless and until the card system gets due recognition at the government level and the Nepal Oil Corporation, we will not be confirmed about its regularity,” said a gas depot owner. Some depot owners also complained about the charge being taken by gas dealers for the consumer cards. According to the depot owners, consumers are still not getting take benefits from the consumer card system and the process is a complete failure without government support.

However, clarifying about the card distribution process, GDFN president Gyaneshwor Aryal said, “More than 70 per cent of gas depots have started distributing consumer cards and soon the process will be completed.”

According to Aryal, there are some distributors who are engaged in blackmarketing of gas cylinders and are avoiding consumer card distribution as they will have to face loss. Normally, gas distributors get Rs 25 profit on the sale of each cylinder at Rs 1125.

“ Within this week, we are going to conduct investigation into depots engaged in blackmarketing of LPG cylinders and action will be taken against them,” said Aryal. The consumer card charge is Rs 10 per card and the money collected is being used in training programmes, he said. GDFN is planning to distribute consumer cards from Kalanki to Thankot area from May 16. Gas dealers have started the card distribution process from February 25. “We want to bring the distributors within the tax boundary but some of the blackmarketers are not willing to join in and are trying to disrupt the process,” Aryal said. There are around 15,000 gas dealers, supplying gas to seven lakh Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) consumers here while the total demand for LPG is 12,000 metric tons.