The price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in rural areas of the federal capital has hit a new peak. LPG is being sold at Rs150 per kilogram, even though it was available in the market for Rs120 per kilogram last month.
Most people are compelled to buy LPG at inflated rates because there is no natural gas in their areas.
The residents claim that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has fixed the rate of LPG at Rs105 per kilogram. However, local sellers are not adhering to the rate fixed by OGRA.
According to the residents, the price of LPG increased ten times during Ramazan last year.
In July, LPG was being sold at Rs120 per kilogram. The residents also said that the government is keeping no check on profiteers, adding that the production and marketing companies of LPG were taking undue advantage of the situation. They claimed that the producers were influential people, who had no regard for the poor people.
Apart from that, the residents said certain people were illegally transferring gas from one cylinder to another -- a dangerous practice that can cause an explosion leading to a loss of life.
They demanded that the government should either lower the price of LPG or provide gas in the rural areas.
During the last eight years, the number of LPG producers has increased from five to nine, whereas the number of marketing companies has increased from 27 to more than 76.
The residents also said the producers had earned billions of rupees in illegal profits between 2004 and 2008. Even today, the producers continue to make high profits at the cost of local people.
They have demanded the government to conduct an inquiry against LPG producers, marketing companies, and distributors and take stern action profiteers.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2011.
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