LPG distributors urge govt to take action against ‘mafia’

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KARACHI: The price of LPG reached the mark of Rs300 per kg on Tuesday across the country, touching a new peak in the history of the country. LPG was available at Rs300 per kg with the price of domestic cylinder increasing by Rs235 to Rs3550 and the price of commercial cylinder climbing by Rs908 to reach a high level of Rs13620.

Irfan Khokhar, Chairman of LPG Distributors Association of Pakistan, expressed these views while addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Tuesday. He regretfully said although the fixed price of LPG per kg by Ogra is Rs 204, but on the contrary, the government-owned SSGC has increased the price of LPG per kg to Rs 300.

Khokhar said that in the ongoing crisis, the state-owned gas company has become a mafia, which is making illegal profits of one lakh rupees per tonne of LPG as 5,000 tonnes of LPG are being sold in the country every day and the mafia and black marketers are minting millions of rupees. He told media that currently, the country is facing the worst economic crisis apart from dollar shortage, and in these circumstances, measures of greater self-reliance by getting rid of the mafia are very necessary.

The LPG Industries chief said that Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited has been closed for the last 31 months. “If JJVL is made operational, it will end the mafia’s monopoly by obtaining production of 550 MT to 750 MT of LPG per day in the country.

LPG can be imported for consumers at a fixed government price.” Irfan Khokhar said that due to the 31-month closure of JJVL, the government has suffered a loss of Rs 157 billion so far in terms of revenue. He said SSGC continues to lobby for the permanent closure of JJVL to continue its monopoly and black marketing in the local market. The country currently has only 2000 metric tons of LPG production while the consumption has crossed 5000 tons. In this way, 60% of the country has become dependent on imported LPG.

Irfan Khokhar said that due to astronomical prices, LPG has become beyond the reach of consumers. He said that a nationwide protest against the high price of LPG and black marketing has been started from Tuesday and an ultimatum of four days is being given, otherwise the sale of LPG in the entire country including Karachi will be on complete halt from January 28.

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