Deora launches rural LPG distribution agencies scheme
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora today launched a new scheme for setting up small-sized LPG distribution agencies to increase rural penetration.
The scheme, called the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin LPG Vitrak (RGGLV) will cover remote and low potential areas having potential of 600 refill sales per month.
Mr Deora said the scheme would be launched initially in eight states covering more than 1200 locations where the reach of LPG was very low.
He said the scheme would also provide new employment opportunities for people in rural areas, contributing to overall economic prosperity.
According to Mr Deora, LPG had now reached urban and semi-urban areas across the country. He said 83 per cent of the LPG networks was in urban areas and only 17 per cent was in rural areas.
"There is an urgent need to extend LPG coverage in rural areas. In the order to eliminate ailments due to use of 'chulhas' and to provide clean cooking fuel to our rural women folk, Government has launched Rajiv Gandhi Gramin LPG Vitrak Scheme," he said.
The agencies under the scheme would be small and viable with monthly refill sales of 600 against the 2500 required for agencies at present. They would be viable for around 1500 customes in the cluster of villages being served.
An official press release said the agencies would be managed by the distributor himself, with the help of his family members and one or two employees. There will be no arrangement for home delivery.
The distributor will have to be in age group of 21-45 and be a permanent resident of one of the villages in the area. All agencies will be in the joint name of the husband and wife. In case of applicants who are single, an undertaking will be obtained that after marriage, the spouse will automatically be deemed to have become a partner. This is meant to empower rural women.
According to the release, the likely capital expenditure for setting up a new RGGLV distributorship will be about Rs. 3.21 lakh with land measuring 20 x 24 m owned by the candidate being an essential requirement.
The distributor will be able to recover the capital expenditure by the time 1,800 new LPG connections are released. The indicative net income of the distributor would be about Rs. 7,500 per month, the release said.
It said that no interviews would be conducted and selection of the distributors would be by draw of lots from amongst all candidates who have secured more than 80 per cent marks on the criteria of financial capability and educational qualifications.
It said 25 per cent of the locations would be reserved for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates in the respective states. There would be 25 per cent reservation for defence and paramilitary personnel.
(xi) 25% of the locations would be reserved for SC/ST categories in the respective states. 25% reservation for Defence Personnel/Para-Military Personnel/Physically Handicapped/ Outstanding Sportspersons, who would be clubbed under one common category. In the common category, if no candidate is found, then the advertisement next time would be under open category.
The eight states where the scheme is being launched initially are Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.
The Government has a target for covering 75 per cent of the overall population in teh country by 2015. However, to ensure even spread, oil marketing companies will identify locations for the agencies in such a way as to achieve at least 50 per cent LPG population coverage in each district and at least 60 per cent overall coverage in each state over the next five years.