LPG price cut illusive
No one can buy LPG cylinder in BERC announced price20 April 2023
Reza Mahmud :
When the gas has become golden deer in the household burners, the cylinder of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices also become dearer in the market.
Consumers become harassed while trying to purchase LPG cylinder in the price stipulated by the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC).
The BERC announced the 12 kg cylinder of LPG price at Tk 1178 instead of its previous price at Tk 1422 reducing by Tk 288 on April 4.
As per the announcement the people have to get a 12 kg cylinder of LPG at Tk 1178 since the day.
But, the scenario of the market is totally different. No one consumer in the capital reported to buy a cylinder in the BERC fixed price.
In Mirhazirbagh, in the capital, Bhai Bhai Enterprise were found selling 12 kg LPG cylinder at Tk 1450.
Replying to a query, the manager of the shop said that they bought the per cylinder LPG from the dealer at Tk 1350 so that they have to make profit Tk 100 from per cylinder.
"If the government want to implement the announced price, it should check the dealers and wholesellers so that we can buy it in rational price to sale just BERC stipulated value," said the manager without preferring non mentioning his name.
Similarly another retail shop in Gandaria found selling the same cylinder at Tk 1400 also blaming the high rate in dealers houses.
On the other hand, a Manik nagor LPG seller found selling the same cylinder at Tk 1500. One of the manager of the shop also blamed whole sellers for the higher price. Consumers alleged that they are being compelled to buy the LPG in high rate as there is no one to implement the government announced price.
"We are huge sufferer due to acute gas shortages in our burners. We are on struggle to cook our daily meals using the supply gas. In the same time the LPG price also high we are double sufferer," said Tahmina Khanom, a Gandaria resident.
She said BERC only can announce price reductions of LPG. But its declaration only found implemented in case of price hiking.
Several consumers from different areas of the capital have expressed the similar experiences.
When contacted, A.H.M Shafiquzzaman, Director General (Additional Secretary), Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection told The New Nation, "We have already conducted several drives against the LPG traders. After those drives we have submitted several recommendations to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) to take necessary measures for ensuring the LPG selling in fixed rate in market."
The DG, however, said that he had not noticed any further development from the BERC over their suggestions.
Factories and dealers are playing big role behind increasing LPG price ignoring the price stipulating of the authorities, he added.
"It is BERC who have power to cancel the license of the LPG factories and dealers to compel them implement the fixed price," he said.
He assured to take steps after the Ramzan regarding LPG traders' price hiking of cylinders.
Meanwhile, Md. Nurul Amin, Chairman, BERC could not get reached after trying several times over telephone for getting his comment in this regards.
Sources said about 14.28 lakh tonnes of LPG used in Bangladesh annually.
About 84 percent of its total consumptions are in households use. About 99 per cent of the market have dominated by 29 private enterprises.