The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has increased the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by Rs2 per kg. The decision comes as an energy crisis looms with the onset of winter.
According to a notification issued by Ogra on Tuesday, owing to Rs2,529 increase (per tonne), the domestic cylinder rate has been increased by Rs35 and that of commercial cylinder by Rs134. The new rates of LPG with increased prices will be Rs204 (previously Rs202 per kg), Rs2,409 per domestic cylinder (previously Rs2,374) and Rs9,269 (Rs9,135 earlier) for commercial cylinders.
LPG Dealers Association chairman Irfan Khokhar said that since the country has already been facing a severe natural gas supply crisis, the ‘flawed’ policies and high number of taxes have put a negative impact on the LPG industry despite the fact that the LPG distributors are paying taxes worth over Rs6 billion per annum.
“In this era of inflation and natural gas shortfall, we request the government to eliminate all unnecessary taxes on LPG in a bid to provide cheap and abundant liquefied gas to the poor,” he sought.
He said a comprehensive LPG policy should also be made to meet the shortfall of natural gas. “The closure of JJVL Jamshoro plant has caused a loss of billions of rupees in addition to hike in LPG prices, forcing the people to buy expensive gas,” he added.
According to documents, Ogra had notified and fixed rate of LPG at Rs219 per kg for the month of June that was reduced to Rs212 for September. It was further reduced to Rs202 for October. However, it was increased to Rs204 for November as notified by Ogra on Nov 1.
“During the floods, the LPG distribution mafia earned billions of rupees on the pretext of difficulties in supplies to the flood-hit areas due to closure of roads, passages etc. Similarly, last year [in winter], the mafia also earned a lot by selling LPG on higher rates on the pretext of shortage of LPG,” Khokhar claimed.
On the other hand, the people annoyed with the rising prices of commodities criticised the government, urging [it] to take action by giving relief to the public at large.
“Where to go, as prices of everything continue rising. On the other hand, our income resources are going down, making us difficult to meet the rising expenses,” a rickshaw driver told Dawn.
“It seems that this country is no more for the poor people,” he lamented, requesting the government to give relief to the poor rather than crushing them economically. “The LPG prices go up every winter. Has anyone taken action to control the prices.”