Vol. 6 | Issue 8 | November 2012
…by the way
The new gas connection policy of Ministry of Petroleum has come as a boon for gas agency owners to mint money. The cylinders are on sale but one has to pay a hefty premium in Delhi if household quota exceeds the limits. As per estimates, there are 200 gas agencies in Delhi and all are politically well connected as in old days the gas agencies were only allotted to political beneficiaries. One needs guts to take them to task. The State Government’s Department of Food and Civil Supplies (DFCS) looks after the supply. The Department was conscious about the situation but due to political connections of agency owners, they remained quiet observers so far. But when newspapers reported the black-marketeering of the cylinders, DFCS took cognizance and raided the agencies and godowns and made arrests under the Essential Service Maintenance Act (ESMA). As a result, agency owners went up in arms. Minister for Civil Supplies Haroon Yusuf was roped in and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was sounded off. The very next day, the Secretary and other DFCS staff were transferred. The situation went back to ‘usual’ for agency owners and cylinders are easily available in the Delhi black market. As per reports, the average daily income from black market is Rs 60 lakh and annually it reaches approximately Rs 7 crore. It is easy money earning which requires no effort. And how could Delhiwallahs face a shortage of gas cylinders, when Haroon Yusuf himself is allegedly the facilitator of gas agency owners. So what, if one pays more!