A need for a long term solution
T he Department of Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs had issued a notification on 18th September 2014 notifying that all the eligible householders will be provided with LPG consumer card system in order to streamline the distribution of LPG. The Initiative of the government has been to improve the distribution system of the LPG received from India of 700 MT per month. The other reason why the system has been introduce is that despite the introduction of LPG for commercial activities, people has still been using the domestic LPG which seriously undermines the availability and timely distribution to households as 700 MT is not sufficient to even meet the domestic householders . The card system has been introduced to ensure that the quote LPG reaches the targeted beneficiaries ad discourage deflection or use for commercial purposes.
The LPG card will be issued on the basis of house holdings and not based on individuals for cooking purposes both in rural and urban areas. The notification warns that any households making the wrong declaration will attracts penalties and cancellation of the LPG card.
The Regional trade office has been entrusted with the job of issuing and monitoring the LPG card. The office shall be responsible and accountable for the distribution of LPG consumer card in their respective regions and maintenance of records thereafter. The regional offices have been directed to seek the assistance of the respective Dzongkhags and Geogs authorities to help them on the matter.
As such all the eligible households has been advised by the notification that they should avail the LPG card from their respective regional trade offices. It is mandatory for the households to declare their households member with citizenship identity card to process for the card. The regional trade offices will then issue the LPG card t the respective households after that.
The PoL dealers have also been notified that they should sell domestic LPG against the consumer card and the card will be the basis for the household identification across the country.
The card system is being implemented from 1st of October 2014 for the western region and from 1st of November 2014 for the other regions. A huge crowd has already been noticed in Thimphu regional trade office from 1st of October and now the authorities have even resorted to token system in order to handle the rush and serve the public on first come first serve basis. The more are expected to come over the coming days. The directives seem quite good and if implemented in a proper manner should benefit the general public. But is this the long term solution or just a temporary measures to curb the misuses of LPG, it is time that will tell us.