LAHORE – Amid severe shortage, the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has increased to Rs 180 per kg in Lahore while rate has touched a whopping Rs 200 per kg in other cities of Punjab.All Pakistan LPG Distributors Association Punjab Chairman Attique Khan blamed the marketing companies for increase in LPG price, saying the closure of JJVL and rise in demand also contributed to price increase. The Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited had suspended the supplies of LPG in the last week of November after a fire broke out at its facility. The company has announced to restore supply from Tuesday, January 1. “Marketing companies are selling us gas at Rs 1730 per domestic cylinder after getting it at Rs1265 from producers while the illegal imported Iranian gas is available at Rs1770 per cylinder,” said Attique, adding this, in turn, has given rise to a very profit-making business avenue for the marketers. The deficit is standing at around 600 tons per day, 300 tons due to rise in demand and other 300 tons because of JJVL’s suspension of supplies. The LPG Association of Pakistan, the marketers, rejected the claim of distributors, saying: “Suspension of supplies throughout the month of December by JJVL exacerbated the usual winter shortages and resulted in imports of nearly 12,000 tons of the LPG.”In a letter addressed to its customer companies, JJVL announced that it had resumed production and will start LPG deliveries from Tuesday, said Belal Jabbar, the spokesperson for the association. The JJVL which in addition to its own LPG also produces LPG for OGDCL’s field of KPD accounts for 25 per cent of the country’s production, added Belal.“The high Saudi Aramco CP with which local producer prices are indexed coupled with suspension of supplies from JJVL and expensive imports have all contributed to the unusual spike in LPG retail prices” said Belal. He went on to say that the situation could have been worst had the LPG companies not imported sufficient product to cater to the shortfall in local supplies. According to the marketing companies, the LPG demand has witnessed a dramatic increase following curtailment and suspension of natural gas supplies to households and industries. “Retail prices in parts of the country are as high as Rs160 per kilo as retailers take advantage of the demand supply gap.”“Prices are expected to rationalise by the first half of January as supplies from JJVL begin to make their way to the market. Furthermore imports of approximately another 5,000-10,000 tons are also expected next month” said Belal.Online adds from Islamabad: Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Chairman Saeed Ahmad Khan has said CNG prices will finally be decided in the meeting of special committee likely to be held during next week.Talking to a private TV channel here Saturday, he said all the stakeholders including Ogra had filed their proposals with reference to CNG price fixation formula. The meeting of the special committee with reference to fixation of prices is likely to be held next week under law minister Farooq H Naik. All the stakeholders are looking forward to the committee meeting being convened by its chairman, he added.“I hope this will be final meeting and CNG prices will be finally decided therein”, he added.