The dealers are opposing heavy financial penalties and distributorship termination clauses under the Marketing Discipline Guidelines (MDG), which, according to the agitators, 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).

The proposed strike poses the prospect of a massive backlog of deliveries given that there are around 150 million cooking gas consumers in the country.

General Secretary of the Federation of LPG Distributors Pawan Soni said that 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 which is currently non-existent, and the immediate cancellation of newly advertised distributorships.

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

(Agencies)

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