Some six years back 5 kg cooking gas cylinders were launched and it became cynosure of many eyes. It is now said that the distributors were struggling to sell these cylinders in the market. The easy availability of larger refills had caused issues in the selling of these 5 kg cylinders.
It is worthy to note that these 5 kg LPG cylinders were targeted at small families, bachelors, labourers from other states, roadside vendors etc,. Over the last 6 years, the launch of the cylinders were carried out 3 times is known. The important information is the point of sale varied from the petrol bunks to the distributors.
The distributors were unhappy about selling these cylinders and spoke about how with the free availability of 14.2 kg domestic and 19 kg commercial LPG cylinders there are not many takers for these free trade license FTL cylinders.
It was pointed out by a distributor that the oil companies are dumping cylinders every month and 20 to 50 refills were got depending on the selling capacity. He also spoke about the lack of target for these cylinders. Later he explained about how every household has got domestic cylinders and roadside vendors would use commercial cylinders and how those cylinders are cheaper than the FTL. He expressed his unhappiness regarding 5 kg LPG cylinders not being sold as nobody is taking them.
It must be noted that in the month of April one FTL cylinder was priced at Rs 399.5 which meant one kilo was priced at Rs 79.9. In the same month one 19 kg commercial cylinder was priced at Rs 1405 which meant that one kg cost the customer Rs 73.95. In the similar way, one domestic non-subsidized cylinder was priced at Rs 722 and it meant one kilo of LPG cost was Rs 49.79. The subsidized refill cost the customer Rs 471.5 where one kilo was priced at Rs 33.20.
According to a distributor, since the oil companies would take action and there was no other option except to take the cylinders. He threw light on how delivery boys were asked to sell these cylinders somehow inspite of losses. Finally he explained about the need for space in the godowns and how these godowns cannot have these small cylinders. The market for the FTL cylinders is there and it is the responsibility of the distributors to identify the end users. This was confirmed by some sources belonging to oil industry.