New Delhi: The government today blamed Reliance Industries and Essar Oil for the domestic cooking gas crisis in some parts of the country, saying the private sector refiners cut LPG supplies during January 2008.
In a written reply to a series of questions in the Rajya Sabha, minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Dinsha Patel said oil marketing companies had reported backlog in LPG supplies in certain states in supply of bulk LPG by Reliance and Essar.
Other reasons for the 10-12 day waiting period consumers faced to get LPG refills were delays in movement of bulk LPG from Jamnagar to the northern region by rail, increased demand in states due to severe cold that resulted in panic-booking by the customers and strike by contract labour.
“The government has advised oil marketing companies to liquidate the backlog by operating bottling plants on holidays and during extended hours. Increased bottling is also being done during the working days for early clearance of backlog,” he said. “At present, there is no overall shortage of LPG in the country.”
While Reliance supplied 10,000 tonne less LPG than the promised quantities in January, Essar’s supplies during the first 20 days of January were less by 17,000 tonne due to specification problems with some cargoes.