Capping prices of 12-kg cylinders of liquefied petroleum gas produced by private companies at Tk 906 from May 1 by the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission left no impact on market for inaction of government agencies responsible for implementing it.
Failure to implement the first-ever decision taken on April 12 of capping prices of LPG cylinders of private companies at Tk 975 and at Tk 591 for cylinders of state-run LP Gas Ltd continued ever after the commission refixed the price as retailers were denying the consumers of the price fixed by commission.
The commission fixed the prices of LPG based on the fluctuation of Saudi Aramco contract price beter known as CP.
LPG consumers from different strata told The Business Post that the retailers were charging Tk 1,000 to Tk 1,100 for a 12kg LPG cylinder gas which was Tk 94 to Tk 194 up than the price fixed by the commission.
Kamal Ahmed, a resident of Kalabagan in Dhaka, said, “I heard that the government fixed the LPG price at Tk 906 but I bought a 12kg cylinder yesterday at Tk 1000. Where is the enforcement of government decision?”
The commission chairman Md Abdul Jalil on Saturday told the Business Post, “We have received some allegations of flouting decision of LPG price and taking appropriate action too. The commission is basically a regulatory body not an enforcement agency to implement the decision”.
“We will carry out mobile court campaign against the flouters. We don’t have the logistics in field level to enforce our decision” he added.
At Kawran Bazar, it was found that LPG gas was being sold at different price range at different dealer’s shop.
Madaripur Enterprise is selling 12kg cylinder at TK 1,000 while Smarani Traders is selling the same amount of gas at Tk Tk 950 which is Tk 94 and Tk 44 up than capped price.
Madaripur Enterprise owner Robiul Islam, who has Autogas, Beximco LPG, Sena LPG and Bashundhara LPG to his disposal, said, “We bought gas cylinder from manufacturers at a higher price than the government determined price. How could we sell the LPG at government determined price if the company don’t give us fair price?”
Shahanaz Begum, a resident of Shyamoli area, depends on LPG gas as she does not have access to gas supplied by Titas Gas, said, “LPG gas price fluctuates often. In April and May, I could not buy LPG cylinder at the government determined price. I had to buy them at Tk 1,050 each time.”.
The commission fixed the retail LPG price for the private sector companies at Tk 81.30 per kilogramme with value-added tax 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 commission’s Technical Evaluation Committee 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.
The commission also fixed the price of autogas used for vehicles has been fixed at Tk 47.92 per litre.