Local traders are extracting huge amount of money from the consumers by increasing the retail prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Showing a lame excuse they have already started telling that as the prices of oil and gas have increased in the international market after the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by the US, they have increased the price of LPG by 20 percent.
However, the state –run companies are selling the same LPG at previous rate.
There is no reason to hike the LPG in retail markets, experts said, adding it is an organised syndicate that only wait for an opportunity that makes them happy and wealthy.
The experts asked the government to take an immediate step against so-called traders in order to control them from selling the LPG at higher rate.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid termed the price hike as an offence urging the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) to oversee the issue.
The oil and gas price has increased in the international market after the US killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. The local traders hiked the retail prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by 20 per cent showing the lame excuse. However the public LP gas price remains the same.
The concerned people say, there is no reason to hike of LPG price right now as the importers opened the L/C minimum three months back from Solemani's death. The private companies have hiked prices as per their wish to earn extra profit, which is very bad practice. As a result, mass people are suffering.
‘When the international price decreases the traders do to decrease their price instantly in local market. However, if they want to hike the price, they must have to wait. Because, after confirmed L/C, it takes at least one month for the product to reach Bangladesh. There is no regulation in LP Gas selling, it is a commodity that was not bought under any regulation,’ they added.
Nasrul Hamid talking to reporters said that the government wants to see that the BERC should regulate the LP Gas item.
However, he said, "if we are not able to control the market it would affect the common people badly.
According to international agencies the average price of LPG around the world is TK. 53.81 per liter right now. LPG is the mixture of propane and butane. The LP Gas price has been increased since Saturday in local market. Each cylinder weighing 12 kilogramme is being sold at Tk 1100 to 1,200, up by Tk 100 to 200.
"The LPG price has increased by taka 100 to 150 per cylinder. Now we are selling each cylinder LPG at Tk 1,100, which," said Atikur Rahman, a retailer of Omera LPG in Faridpur.
Mohammad Khorsed Alom, a LPG retailer in Bagerhat told Bangladesh Post ‘Earlier our retail price was at taka 1,000 per 12 kg cylinder, however the company has hiked the dealer price, which is now at taka 1080. We have to add here other expenditure and finally the retail price will be high.’
Engineer Md. Fazlur Rahman Khan, Managing director of State-owned LP Gas Limited, told Bangladesh Post ‘Till now, we are selling a 12.5 kg LPG cylinder at its previously fixed rate around Tk 600. And its retail price is at taka 700. However, we have no plan to increase LPG price right now.’
The LPG users are increasing day by day in the country. It has seen a four-fold jump over the past three years riding on its increased use in households, commercial entities and vehicles.
According to market players, the number of LPG users reached 20 million in the country last year. Currently over 1.0 million tonnes of LPG are consumed annually, which was around 250,000 tonnes in 2015.
Bangladesh consumed around 650,000 tonnes of LPG in 2017, up from around 400,000 tonnes in 2016, market players said.
At present, 15 companies import LPG and 20 companies, including the importers, retail the refillable LPG cylinders.
According to the demand, Bangladesh needs more than 15 lakh tonnes of LPG yearly. However, the supply is around 10 lakh tonnes. Of these, the public company is supplying only 16,000 to 20,000 tonnes.