An answer to Black Marketing of LPG cylinders: Indian Oil launches ‘Chhotu’ Cylinder

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Black Marketing of LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) cylinders is one of the biggest problems we face in India. The misuse of the resource affects the lives of migrated workers the most. These migrated workers who come to the big cities to get the work, often face the scarcity of fuel that can help them in cooking.

On the other hand, the food sector in India is unorganized and many roadside food vendors also face this problem as many do not afford the commercial LPG cylinders. And they end up buying the fuel from the black market. 

Indian Oil in its recent statement stated, ‘There are many people, mainly migratory labourers, who do not have access to LPG. Such persons frequently purchase LPG cyclinder from the black market. The gas mafia has made a lot of money selling LPG to migrants.’

According to a source, “Many households also take advantage of the problems of the migrated class and the small food vendors by selling the domestic LPG cylinders to them at a very high cost.”

The black-marketing of LPG Cylinders hits us from multiple sides such as it affects the sales of commercial Cylinders, and violates the people’s right to access to natural resources. The socio-economic impact of blackmarketing of LPG cylinders is still a big challenge. 

IOCL’s ‘Chhotu’ Cylinder

Indian Oil Corporation Limited launched a small cooking gas cylinder also known as Chhotu, 5 Kg FTL (Free trade LPG) cylinder to cater to the evolving demands of the LPG users and improve customer convenience. 

In India, around 75% of the population currently uses LPG, and per capita usage has increased to around 16 kg per person per year, thanks in part to recent large-scale subsidy initiatives. The current price range of LPG cylinders in India is from INR 947.50 to INR 1048.

According to IOCL, ‘The customer can use the Chhotu gas cylinder in any city as per their convenience. If the cylinders are bought from the point of sales, customers will also have the option to buy back with a fixed amount of Rs 500/- per cylinder, irrespective of duration of use.’

With this new initiative IOCL has become the first PSU Oil Company in the country to replicate the international model of making available cooking gas cylinders from corner stores for the convenience of its customers.

IOCL said, ‘Chhotu, a mini cooking gas cylinder has been launched especially for catering to migrant population in urban and semi urban areas who do not have local address proof, people with lower gas consumption, and commercial establishments with limited space.’

Customers will be able to avail their Chhotu gas cylinder through IOCL’s extensive network of Indane distributorships and other point of sales like Indian Oil Retail Outlets, select Kirana stores, and select local supermarkets. And they will get the cylinder by submission of identity proof only. Refill can be obtained by visiting any Point of Sale or Distributorships across the country.

The organization, with the government, has launched many initiatives in the past to curb the Black market. After implementing the gas pipe system, now selling the gas cylinders through a retail store seems to be a good idea. But, to what extent this new initiative will benefit every customer and target the blackmarketing of LPG cylinders will be a game to watch.


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