Ration shop traders reluctant on selling mini cylinders
The Union government has decided to supply 2kg and 5kg gas cylinders through ration shops citing that cooking gas is always available to meet the shortage.
Nizamabad: The Union government has decided to supply 2kg and 5kg gas cylinders through ration shops citing that cooking gas is always available to meet the shortage. The scheme is intended to supply gas cylinders especially to small traders who may or may not have ration cards but the ration dealers are reluctant to deliver cylinders as there are already a large number of gas connections available in the district and there is no shortage of gas anywhere and only commercial cylinders need to be sold from ration shops.
They are confident that commercial cylinder sales will take place in shop where only the poor comes. Price and poverty perspective also make ration dealers reluctant to sell these mini cylinders in their shops. Government policy of selling small cylinders in ration shops is likely to become a headache for rural ration dealers. Authorities are also scrambling to force ration dealers to sell these small cylinders. There are around 751 ration dealers in Nizamabad district.
These shops supply essential commodities to 405476 AFSC, FSC & AAP ration card holders every month. The Central government has come up with this cylinder policy to increase the revenue of ration dealers. The Central government argues that people will buy LPG without having to worry about gas shortages. Customers have to deposit Rs 940 to get a mini cylinder. It is enough to pay 627 rupees when you take a gas cylinder.
Ration dealers are questioning who will buy a 5 kg cylinder for Rs 627 when the price of a 14 kg cylinder is Rs 973 per domestic gas cylinder and they are unable to sell them. The price of a mini cylinder is also high compared to the price of a commercial cylinder. Domestic cylinders are available at Rs 360 per 5kg.
The response on the issue of 5kg cylinders being sold through ration shops in Nizamabad district is nowhere to be found because right now they only have a 5kg cylinder available for 360. Even small traders are not interested in a small cylinder as it is more expensive than a commercial cylinder. Gas dealers are not in a position to supply the cylinders if the ration dealers do not pay the deposit in advance.
Ration dealers, however, are expressing their inability to pay our deposits in advance. If a 5 kg gas cylinder is sold through ration shops, the ration dealer gets a commission of only Rs 40 so they do not even come forward to take this risk. The Central government is very keen on selling small cylinders through ration shops and has been pressuring the Telangana civil supply officials. State Civil Supplies Department officials are trying to sell 2kg & 5kg gas cylinders to ration dealers but are not giving results at the field level.
The Bodhan ration dealer said it was very difficult to store the cylinder along with the essentials in the ration shop. A dealer from Armor said that it is not possible to sell mini cylinders and that any small mistake can turn into a big accident.
"We are not going to sell the cylinders with the suspicion that the customers will buy them," said a dealer in Dichpalli. District civil supply officials, however, are also motivating them by holding several awareness seminars on selling mini cylinders to dealers through ration shops. Complete guidelines for the sale of cooking gas by ration dealers have not yet arrived.