Govt cracks down on errant petrol pump owners

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New Delhi, Apr 17 (UNI) The government today said that it has cracked the whip on errant petrol pump owners and those selling spurious LPG cylinders.

In reply to short duration discussion on the deteriorating situation of the supply of oil, LPG and other petroleum products, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dinshaw Patel said existing 33,000 petrol pumps in the country had been checked 8,322 times and 900 of their licences had been terminated. ''532 have been given notices,'' he said.

Markers have been used effectively to check adulteration in petrol, he said.

Fines of Rs 30,000 have been imposed on those suppliers of LPG cylinder who have been engaged in malpractices and Rs 50,000 for second time offence and licence cancellation for the third time offence, Mr Patel said in the Rajya Sabha.

He said already five per cent of ethanol blending was being used in the country where 70 per cent of the people use two-wheelers.

Earlier in the debate, industrialist and independent member from Maharashtra said petrol and diesel should not be subsidised.

BJP member Prakash Pilania said there is a need for alternative sources of energy. The PDS for kerosene should be targeted towards the poor. He pointed out that there is a shortage of LPG in the country.

Independent member Arjun Kumar Singh said the cost of inputs had to be passed to the final users.

However, after the minister's reply, Mr Vijay Darda agreed to withdraw the resignation.

Eds: Pls pick up suitably from PAR 19 Petroleum-Prices-RS UNI RT RL RAI1752

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