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Retailers refuse to sell LPG at govt fixed price

Mohammad Shazzad Hossen
22 Apr 2021 20:22:54 | Update: 22 Apr 2021 20:23:39
Retailers refuse to sell LPG at govt fixed price

Price capping of Liquefied Petroleum Gas cylinder by Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission made no impact in the field level as retailers are refusing to sell gas cylinder at the authorised price.

A number of consumers told The Business Post that retailers were charging Tk 1,050 to Tk 1,150 for a 12 kg cylinder of LPG gas which is Tk 75 to Tk 175 more than the fixed price.

The regulatory commission fixed the price for 12kg cylinder at Tk 975 for private marketers and Tk 591 state-run LP Gas Ltd from April 12 considering the Saudi Aramco contract price (CP) in the face of the volatility of LPG price in the market.

LPG cylinder user Rozina Begum, a housewife of Mirpur-10 area in the city, said, “I became optimistic at the decision of fixing prices of LPG although I am still buying the 12 kg cylinder at Tk 1,050. I don’t find any rationale of such decision if it is not implemented in the field level”.

She said when she asked the dealer about the higher price of the LPG gas cylinder than the government determined price, the retailer told her, “The decision of fixing the LPG price yet to come into effect. It will take time”.

BERC chairman Md Abdul Jalil said, “Being a regulatory body, we don’t have the logistic support to enforce our decision and mainly rely on filed level officials to implement it. I urged all stakeholders to implement the price of LPG gas”.

“We will take legal action against LPG producers if they sell gas cylinder to the dealers at a higher price than the fixed price,” he added.

“We will evaluate the LPG gas price every month on the basis of Saudi Aramco contract price which may fluctuate in every month,” he said adding that if any written complaint was found against any dealers, the commission would make them accountable.

During a quick visit to Kawran Bazar, LPG gas cylinders were seen sold at different price range at different shops.

Aorna Enterprise is selling 12 kg LPG gas cylinder at TK 1,050 while Bismillah Enterprise is selling the same amount of gas at Tk 1,000 which means they are charging TK 75 and Tk 25 more to the consumers than the BERC fixed price.

Kalabagan Enterprise at the city’s Kalabagan area is selling all brands of LPG gas cylinder at Tk 1,100. Its owner said, “The cylinders we have in our depot were bought before the price fixation of LPG. I will incur a loss if I sell below Tk 1,100 as those cylinders were brought at TK 1,050.”

The commission fixed the retail-level LPG price for the private sector companies at Tk 81.30 per kilogramme (kg) with value-added tax (VAT) and ordered the market players to supply different sizes of cylinders – 5.5kg, 12.5kg, 15kg, 16kg, 18kg, 20kg, 22kg, 25kg, 30kg, 35kg and 45kg – to the consumers.

The price of autogas used for vehicles has been fixed at Tk 47.92 per litre by the commission.

The BERC Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) had recommended fixing the price of a 12-kg LPG cylinder at Tk 866, a 35-kg cylinder at Tk 2,525, and a 45-kg LPG cylinder at Tk 3,246.

The LPG Operators Association of Bangladesh had sought to fix the price of a 12-kg cylinder at Tk 1,259, a 35-kg cylinder at Tk 3,672, and a 45-kg cylinder at Tk 4,721.

Mohammad Shazzad Hossen