5-kg LPG cylinders at select petrol bunks in Chennai from Saturday
Oct 3, 2013 11:15 PM , By N. Ravi Kumar | 4 comments
Five-kg cylinders are handy and easy to carry. Photo: R. Ravindran
Five-kg cylinders are handy and easy to carry. Photo: R. Ravindran

Come Saturday, three petrol bunks will start retailing the compact, non-subsidised 5-kg cooking gas cylinders.

Described as a customer-empowering initiative by the Union Petroleum Ministry, the move is expected to benefit those coming for a short stay in the city.

While college students, IT professionals and those accompanying patients will typically form part of the customer list, the cylinder, as consumer activist T.Sadagopan pointed out, will come handy for small family functions too.

But what remains unnoticed are two aspects: the 5-kg cylinder is a lesser known product already available with select cooking gas distributors of Indane, Bharat Gas and HP Gas and secondly, it is expensive. The price of a refill, which is subject to monthly revision, now is Rs.504 in Chennai.

Sources among cooking gas distributors said though there is considerable sale potential, the customer response has been poor, presumably due to lack of awareness. It is available with about 15 cooking gas distributors of the three companies in and around city and together they would be selling around 600 cylinders a month, a distributor said.

This despite the oil companies not insisting on elaborate documentation, something that is a must for subsidised cooking gas. The initial cost for the customer will be more.

The (one-time) cost of the cylinder, regulator and a suraksha tube, inclusive of value added taxes, would be a little over Rs.1,600. In addition, the customer needs to pay Rs.504 for the LPG.

Related topics
  • We can as well be rest assured that this new 'Cylinder selling initiative' in select outlets would be used only by select customers in the select income group with select needs. But the aim of the 'Government' it would seem is to make customers get used to a new pricing bereft of subsidy - without having to lose their vote in the upcoming elections.
    From: Khan
    Posted: Oct 5, 2013 at 10:58 IST
  • Small LPG cylinders were said to be easier for terrorists to use in setting explosions. If “the move is expected to benefit those coming for a short stay in the city” as this article says, terrorists can remain strangers. For safety and security sake, the cylinders should have identification codes on them and they should be issued only to people carrying reliable identification.
    From: Som Karamchetty
    Posted: Oct 5, 2013 at 9:32 IST
  • It is a half hearted attempt to kill this idea from the beginning. The correct price should be about Rs 300 per 5 kg without subsidy. Why the Govt is allowing the oil marketing company to loot public.Govt should set a good example of fair trade practice so that others can follow . Govt is showing in this marketing how to exploit the public since they have no other choice .
    From: sbalaraman
    Posted: Oct 4, 2013 at 18:43 IST
  • Introduction of 5Kg cylinder is not entirely a new idea.It was considered an extension of the grocery item. This was test marketed several years ago,in Goa/Maharashtra, but not persisted with? In the present context it is a welcome move to make it available thru select Petrol Pumps in select cities.The packing and price will make it convenient only for impulse buyers,working individuals,students, picnickers and above all those customers, to whom price does not matter. A close monitoring is needed to gauge the efficacy of this move.
    From: Ramnath
    Posted: Oct 4, 2013 at 6:46 IST