Govt to appoint 10K new distributors this year

first_imgNew Delhi, Jun 3 (PTI) With a view to increasing LPG penetration, the government will this year appoint 10,000 new distributors of the cooking fuel through a revamped system, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said today. The 10,000 new liquified petroleum gas (LPG) dealerships will be on top of around 16,000 existing dealers in the country. “We had declared 2016 as the Year of LPG Consumers and this is yet another step in the direction of making clean cooking fuel available to the entire population of the country by 2018, particularly in rural areas,” Pradhan told reporters here. About 2,000 agencies are already in the process of being appointed and the remaining would be completed in two phases, he said. At present, there are 27 crore LPG subscribers in the country, of which 16.7 crore are active. This covers nearly 60 per cent of the population. “We plan to give out 5 crore LPG connections to rural women households under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in three years. Another 3 crore connections are anticipated to be given,” he said. The LPG distributorships would be given in four categories – urban, semi-urban, rural and far-flung. Eligibility norms for age, education, fund requirement and ownership of land for godwons and showroom have been relaxed to make selection process more participative, he said, adding that distributors for the urban area would be decided through a computerised draw of lots. For all other categories, it would be through manual lottery, he said. Also, 33 per cent reservation to women across all categories has been introduced to encourage women entrepreneurship. Another 3 per cent reservation has been provided for physically handicapped. Defence personnel and their dependents as also sports personnel would be given preference. “The new appointment guidelines will pave the way for a more broadbased, participative and transparent system of selection of distributors across the country,” he said. “Setting up of these new distributorships will give a tremendous boost to the rural employment opportunities.” PTI ANZ SAadvertisementlast_img read more