A need for a long term so­lu­tion

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

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.

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