Assam GUWAHATI news

IOCL Introduces Smaller 5 kg LPG Cylinders for PMUY Beneficiaries in Assam

Correspondent Correspondent
Friday, August 25, 2023
IOCL Introduces Smaller 5 kg LPG Cylinders for PMUY Beneficiaries in Assam
Indian Oil's Efforts to Address Affordability Concerns of LPG Users in Assam.

Guwahati, July 08, 2023: The Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) is taking steps to address the needs of beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in Assam who struggle to afford the standard 14.2 kg LPG cylinder. To meet this challenge, IOCL has introduced a new offering. Instead of the larger cylinder, IOCL is providing two 5 kg LPG cylinders as a refill package.

However, the implementation of this initiative has encountered some obstacles, leading to slower progress than expected. In the past year, Indian Oil, a prominent energy PSU in India, has managed to distribute only 1 lakh "mini" cylinders among the 34 lakh beneficiaries who rely on liquefied petroleum gas. Assam, with approximately 56 lakh families below the poverty line, has seen 44.14 lakh families become beneficiaries of PMUY, entailing a free single-cylinder LPG connection.

Officials from Indian Oil's Assam Oil Division (AOD) report that around 25% of beneficiaries have not applied for refills due to concerns about affordability and the availability of firewood for cooking. This means that approximately 34 lakh beneficiaries are interested in continuing to use LPG if it becomes more affordable.

G. Ramesh, the executive director and Assam head of IndianOil AOD, explained, "We have been offering BPL families the option of 10 kg of LPG in two 5 kg metallic cylinders as a cheaper alternative. We hope that these smaller cylinders will become popular among those who find the 14.2 kg cylinder too expensive." However, Indian Oil's field officials have identified some practical challenges in promoting the 5 kg cylinders. One official highlighted that the cost per kg of LPG is nearly the same for a 5 kg cylinder, which is currently priced at ₹422 per cylinder. Despite this, BPL consumers hesitate to switch to 10 kg (two 5 kg cylinders) when they are accustomed to using the 14.2 kg cylinder, which is priced at ₹1,152.

Apart from this initiative, IndianOil, which holds an 87% LPG market share in the northeast region of India (excluding Sikkim), has been actively marketing a 10 kg translucent, fiberglass cylinder with a blow-molded plastic outer jacket for urban consumers. This cylinder is not only visually appealing and lightweight but also allows users to monitor the gas level and order a refill accordingly. Currently, the fiberglass cylinder is priced at ₹821.

The company's efforts to cater to specific consumer segments extend to a 5 kg commercial version called Chhotu, priced at ₹567, which has gained popularity among urban migrants such as students, individuals in transferable jobs, and truckers. Additionally, IndianOil plans to introduce Munna, a 2 kg cylinder priced at ₹247, targeting individuals who require a portable and convenient option. The distribution of Munna is expected to begin soon in the northeast region.

For commercial consumers, IndianOil has introduced XtraTeJ in 19 kg and 47.5 kg variants. This product generates a high-temperature flame for faster cooking while saving at least 5% of fuel.