Domestic LPG cylinders using in commercial purposes despite scarcity
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, June 30 2010: Even though domestic consumers are hard to find cooking LPG gas, hotels and other eateries have no shortage of the same in running their business.

As per norms that govern distribution of LPG gas, hotels and eateries are under commercial consumer categories but according to the Hueiyen Lanpao inquiry, most of the hotels and eateries running in Imphal and other parts of the state are also availing the facilities the status of domestic consumer category.

Hotels and eateries are to get LPG supply connection with consumers LPG cylinder weighting 19 kg (after refilled) which is different from that of domestic consumer cylinder which is 14.2 kg (refilled).

Domestic cylinders are banned from using for commercial purpose.

The rate of the refilled domestic LPG cylinder is Rs 366.85 after cutting down government subsidy at the all India level even though the rate is somewhat higher in Manipur.

However, no subsidy is given to commercial consumers.

As per notification issued recently by the Union ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, if anybody is found using domestic cooking gas cylinder in his commercial purpose, he or she can be penalized.

He or she can also meet jail term with fine.

Despite the notification, in Imphal and other parts of the state, any of authority was found checking and controlling the wrong use of domestic cylinders in the hotels and eateries for commercial purpose.

Before the state consumer affairs, food and public distribution was renamed, the then food and civil supply department had considered on taking authority of controlling the cooking gas distributions system.

But it was not translated into action.

May the result of having no controlling authority, when domestic consumers are running post to pillar to get refilled cylinder and buying at the rate ranging from Rs 900 to Rs 1500 a cylinder, hotels and eateries in Imphal and in the outskirts are still using domestic cylinders instead of commercial one.

How many commercial cooking gas consumers are there in the state could not be ascertained as there is no definite controlling authority but many of the hotels and eateries are consuming cooking gas in their business.

On the other hand, an order of the state consumer affair, food and public distribution issued on June 15, refilled LPG cylinders have been allocated through the gas agencies for onward distribution to the domestic consumers.

With a view to check irregularities in the distribution to the consumers, the department has issued another order asking district officers of the department to collect utilization certificates from the agencies and submit the same to the head office, an official source said.

The step has been taken up to check fraud in the distribution of the LPG refilled cylinders to the consumers, the source maintained.