LPG oligopoly

The oil companies operating in Kashmir have let oligopoly— a market structure characterized by small number of firms— to prevail in the LPG distribution system by allowing only a few gas dealers to dominate the scene. This was, and will never be good for the common consumers. This is, however, something that till now has hardly received any attention from the authorities. Following the new LPG policy announced by the central government, the issue has suddenly come up as a major challenge for the government. Kashmir perhaps is for the first time realizing the folly of the oil companies in not letting the number of dealers to grow over the years to keep pace with the rising number of consumers. It is quite bizarre that while the same companies have since long been in the forefront of campaigns demanding decontrolling the commodity, they have not given a thought to increase the number of dealers particularly at a place like Kashmir which is beset with hostile geographical problems. It is quite disgusting that against the national ratio of one dealer to 600 consumers, Kashmir has 43 dealers to cater to a whopping 10 lakh families. The need for increasing the number of gas dealers was always felt, but the new LPG regime has only reinforced this more vehemently. The cap on the subsidized gas has affected by and large all the consumers across the country, but what is additionally troubling the Valley consumers is the dominance of just a few dealers in the market. The oil companies owe an explanation to the consumers as to why the number of the dealers has not been increased. The consumers in Kashmir presently are suffering more because of the trouble they face in getting their papers verified, reconstructed, vetted, etc. at the gas agencies. Those who have got their documents verified still don’t get the home delivery. The nub of the problem lies in little number of dealers than the capping of the subsidized LPG cylinders. The government should immediately intervene and convene a meeting of all the gas companies operating in Kashmir. Let a clear direction go to the oil companies to increase the number of dealers within a fixed timeframe. Don’t forget as per the national standards Kashmir should have about 1700 dealers, it is having just 43. Pity.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST

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