A consumer rights watchdog has voiced concern over LPG policy and overcharging. Consumers are being compelled to buy “highly overpriced” LPG because of the country’s “monopolistically controlled” fuel market. According to a statement issued by the Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan (CRCP) on Sunday, the Economic Coordination Committee approved the LPG (Production and Distribution) Policy Guidelines 2012 on the same day the nation was busy waiting for the announcement of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) prices by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).
Consumer representatives are worried about the recently approved LPG policy and are waiting for the policy’s actual official text, the CRCP’s statement read.
Through the policy, the government can impose a petroleum levy on locally produced LPG which would result in a further increase in its prices, according to the CRCP.
The CRCP stated that selling LPG directly to the station owners would require another pricing formula, because it requires air mixing to make it fit for vehicles.
LPG price was revised three times during the time consumers were busy fighting for a fair CNG price, the CRCP statement read.
It also said that demand for gas increased to 2,800 million cubic feet per day (mmfcd) while the total output was only around 2,000 mmcfd.
The CRCP recommended that instead of raising the tariffs of utilities and fuels, the government should tax the heavily-subsidised agricultural sector to cover the budget deficit.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2013.