Get LPG connection within 60 days

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New Delhi, Aug 19 (UNI) The government today announced that new LPG connections will be allotted within a period of 60 days only.

''LPG connections will be provided at the earliest by the oil marketing companies (OMCs) with the upper waiting limit not exceeding more than 60 days,'' Petroleum Secretary R S Pandey told reporters at a review meeting of the CEOs of oil PSUs here.

In order to ensure optimum availability of LPG in the country, especially in the coming festive season, the distribution network will be more organised, Mr Panday said.

He said new dealership would be set up, especially in an uncovered area on need-based basis.

Mr Pandey said the government will look at ways to price diesel differently for industry and retail customers.

Meanwhile, the Secretary said a public grievance redressal system will be set up in two weeks time at all levels -- District, State, Nation and Company -- where consumers can register their complaints.

Chairing the meeting, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora emphasised that the supplies of LPG should be maintained at the optimum level during the ensuing festival season.

Mr Deora also urged the oil companies to ensure the availability of petroleum products especially diesel and LPG in different parts of the country at the earliest, saying he has received several representations highlighting the shortage of petroleum products in different parts of the country.

''I would urge upon all the officers of the oil companies to ensure that these problems are addressed at the earliest and do not recur,'' he said.

''Today's meeting is a part of the initiative taken by the Ministry to review the functioning of oil companies, especially during the next months when the demand for petroleum products rises substantially,'' he said.

With more than 10 crore LPG consumers, India has the second largest consumer base in the world.

Expressing concerns over the country's high oil import dependence, the Minister said it is necessary that petroleum products be priced in a consistent manner under a long-term policy.

He said it is also essential that economic pricing is blended with social responsibility so that the oil sector continues to function and service the oil needs of the economy.

Indian Oil Chairman Sarthak Behuria said industry's use of subsidised diesel is pushing up demand and forcing refiners to increase imports, and the oil firms want to charge firms market rates.

The projected under-recoveries during 2008-09 is estimated to be over Rs two lakh crore against Rs 77,123 crore in 2007-08 on sale of petroleum products.

The meeting was attended by senior officers of Petroleum Ministry and CEOs of ONGC, GAIL, IOC, BPCL, HPCL.

UNI SBA AK KN1922

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