New Delhi, Aug 19 : Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora today asked state-run oil firms to clear the waitlist for new domestic cooking gas (LPG) connections in 60 days.
Deora reviewed the supply and distribution of essential petroleum products in the country at a meeting with heads of oil companies and issued instructions for ensuring adequate supplies in the coming festive season.
"LPG connections will be available on demand," Petroleum Secretary R S Pandey told reporters on Tuesday.
Pandey did some hard-talking with the CEOs of oil firms who had gone slow on issuing new LPG connections and restricted auto fuel supplies in view of mounting losses, and asked Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum to liquidate the waitlist for new domestic gas connections in two months.
"Wait time for LPG connections will not be allowed to exceed two months," he said.
IOC Chairman Sarthak Behuria said the oil industry had taken some measures including supplying only costlier branded fuel at select petrol pumps and stopping new LPG connections to tide over huge revenue losses resulting from Government's decision not to raise petrol, diesel, LPG and kerosene prices in line with cost.
"We have 6-7 lakh waitlist for new LPG connections and we have now placed orders to buy 10 lakh new LPG cylinders to liquidate it," he said, adding the consumers will get a choice to buy both normal and branded petrol and diesel at all retail outlets in the country.
Oil companies proposed to suspend supplies of domestic LPG cylinders to those having piped natural gas connection, a view that was accepted by the Petroleum Ministry.
Oil companies currently sell petrol at a loss of Rs 7.07 per litre, diesel at Rs 16.22, kerosene at Rs 39.55 per litre and LPG at a loss of Rs 348.89 per 14.2-kg cylinder.
IOC, BPCL and HPCL are together projected to lose Rs 1,84,801 crore in revenues on fuel sales during 2008-09.