LPG portability to roll out in state after July

Cooking gas consumers in Ahmedabad and Surat will be among the first beneficiaries of LPG connection portability that is expected to roll out in Gujarat after July, a senior Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) official said on Tuesday.

There are over 60 lakh LPG consumers in Gujarat to whom IOCL, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) supply cooking gas cylinders. "The portability service will soon be available to consumers in Gujarat. We are targeting only the bigger cities now. We plan to start off in selected areas of Ahmedabad and Surat," said a senior IOCL official, requesting anonymity.

Officials of all the three companies had held a meeting last week to finalise the roll-out. "A final decision on this issue is yet to be taken," the official added. The scheme was launched by the UPA government in January this year and will be rolled out for the first time in Gujarat after July.

However, the LPG portability scheme, when it was launched, only allowed the consumers to change their dealers and not the oil company. "In Gujarat, the consumers will have the option of changing both the dealer and the company. A proposal in this regard has been sent to the higher authorities for approval," the official said.

"We have identified 15 areas in Ahmedabad where all the three companies provide their service. We will start from the portability services from areas like Navrangpura, Naranpura, Naroda, Satellite, etc," the IOCL official added.

IOCL, HPCL and BPCL together have a network of over 500 dealers in Gujarat. "The LPG portability scheme will ensure better distribution and improved services. Customers who are not happy with their dealers or company can shift. This way, only the best will survive, the rest will perish," the official added.

The IOCL, which has about 340 dealers and 38 lakh LPG customers in the state, has already started the dealership-rating system wherein dealers and distributors are being ranked on parameters like timely supply of refills, complaints received etc. The rating will help consumers select distributors once portability is available.

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