LAHORE: The LPG Association of Pakistan (LPGAP) has demanded that the government withdraw the recent hike in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices with immediate effect since it has put an additional burden on poor consumers of the fuel.
Speaking at a meeting of the association, LPGAP Chairman Farooq Iftikhar pointed out that the domestic LPG industry was already struggling because of heavy LPG imports, excessive smuggling and unbalanced government policies. “The recent price increase is set to further aggravate the situation,” he remarked.
Iftikhar said LPG prices had been raised without keeping in view the ground realities and it seemed that the initiative had been taken to benefit some vested interests.
He lamented that low-quality imported LPG, which was harmful to health, was being sold at cheaper prices whereas LPG marketing companies, which were selling good-quality locally produced fuel, were suffering hefty losses.
At present, imported LPG is about 20% cheaper than the domestic fuel. The marketing companies selling local LPG have been unable to recover basic cost and it is getting difficult for them to continue operations in the face of lack of government support.
“Domestic marketing companies are already in deep trouble due to imports and smuggled low-quality LPG. Price hike will make things worse and reduce the already declining demand for the product,” Iftikhar cautioned and said LPG would no longer remain cheaper than petrol, which would harm stakeholders’ interest in setting up auto-gas stations. He said the increase in LPG prices would further squeeze poor consumers who were already struggling due to high inflation.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2018.