Thursday April 18, 2024

Sale of LPG at exorbitant rates adds to public woes

By Khalid Iqbal
January 25, 2024

Rawalpindi : In this ‘famine’ like situation, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) dealers are also taking full benefit and looting public with both hands and selling the commodity in ‘black’ at n skyrocketing prices, thanks to Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) which was sending big amount bills to consumers without providing natural gas.

A worker can be seen loading the LPG cylinder. — AFP/File
A worker can be seen loading the LPG cylinder. — AFP/File

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has fixed the LPG rate at Rs257 per kilogram but the private companies and dealers are selling it at Rs330/kg here on Wednesday.

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) was also selling LPG cylinders at the rate of Rs3500 per 11.8 kilogram. It is worth mentioning here that several consumers were cutting down domestic gas connections due to high slab bills.

The majority of consumers were shifting their stoves from natural gas to LPG cylinders therefore dealers are looting the public with both hands and selling the commodity in ‘black’. But, as per routine, the local government is not doing anything to control looters.

This situation has given rise to a gas mafia that is exploiting the price hike by engaging in widespread black-marketing activities all around in region. The importers and quota holders especially SNGPL have ganged up and sold the gas to poor consumers at exorbitant prices in the range of Rs100 to 150/kg above the government’s notified prices in major rural and urban centres and far-flung areas. The country’s daily consumption of LPG is 5000 tons (5 million kilograms).

The price manipulators are increasing the price day by day, with the illegal traders increasing the price by Rs10/kg, domestic cylinder by Rs100, and commercial cylinder by 400 rupees. In major cities, LPG is being sold at over Rs330/ kg, and in hilly and far-flung areas, it is being sold at Rs350.

The poor residents of Rawalpindi city and the cantonment board are facing the worst situation due to the absence of natural gas for over three months. The locals have been using different sources of fire and buying LPG cylinders, dry woods, coal, and Mobil oil stoves. The dry woods are being sold at Rs1400 per 40 kilograms and 1 kilogram coal at Rs150.

Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and local administration, Rawalpindi however have badly failed to control the situation. Talking to ‘The News’ Muhammad Aslam a resident of Adiala Road said that they were facing one crisis after another for over five years. "When will our punishment end in this country God knows better,” he bemoaned.