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LPG dealers put off Tuesday's nationwide indefinite strike

Cooking gas dealers on Monday night decided to defer their indefinite strike after assurance by oil marketing companies to look into their grievances

New Delhi: 

Cooking gas (LPG) distributors on Monday night called off their proposed indefinite strike after oil companies set up a panel to look into their grievances.

The All India LPG Distributors Federation and Federation of LPG Distributors of India had jointly given a strike call from Tuesday to protest against disciplinary actions being initiated against them in cases like short-supply.

The strike was called off after it was agreed in talks between the associations and the oil companies to form a joint panel to address their grievances.

All India LPG Distributors Federation general secretary Chandra Prakash said the committee, which will have members from dealers and oil companies, will submit its report by March 31.

The dealers are opposed to Marketing Discipline Guidelines 2014 which imposes heavy financial penalties and terminate distributorship for certain repeat offence.

The panel will review the Marketing Discipline Guidelines (MDG) and make a representation to the oil ministry in 60 days, AILDF's president Pratap Doshi said.

LPG cylinder

Representational pic

The dealers were opposing the heavy financial penalties and distributorship termination clauses under the Marketing Discipline Guidelines (MDG), which, they say, makes the distributors unjustifiably responsible for all lapses in the system.

The Federation of LPG Distributors of India and the All India LPG Distributors Federation said the disciplinary measures were biased against the dealers and did not have any provisions to ensure compliance by the oil marketing companies (OMCs).

Earlier in the day, General Secretary of the Federation of LPG Distributors Pawan Soni said 13,000 distributors would stop delivering refills except to essential consumers like hospitals, and attend to only emergencies such as leakage.

The dealers are also demanding pilfer-proof seals on cylinders, a fool-proof delivery system that they say is currently non-existent, and the immediate cancellation of newly advertised distributorships.

OMC sources said the dealers' protest against the MDGs was aimed at derailing efforts to improve consumer services and end the black marketing in subsidised cylinders.

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