ISLAMABAD - Marketing companies while defying the standing orders by Ogra for reducing Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) prices are continuously ripping off the gas consumers already bearing heavy brunt of sky rocketing prices of the commodity, sources said on Wednesday. Finding no other option to restrain the ‘mighty’ LPG marketing companies and dealers from horrifying artificial price hike at the cost of over burdened gas consumers of remote areas, the oil and gas regulatory authority (Ogra) has decided to issue show cause notices coupled with heavy fines, even revocation of licences to the LPG marketing companies today (Thursday). 

The regulator while reducing LPG price by Rs20-90/kilograme had determined the reasonable maximum consumer price of 11.8 kg cylinder at Rs. 125.16/kg including distributor margin of Rs.70/11.8 kg cylinder for all the urban and rural areas of the country on December 8. However, influential marketing companies while paying no heed to the public miseries and Ogra orders are continuously fleecing the consumers at old high prices of Rs145-215/kilograme. Similarly, LPG dealers are leaving no stone unturned to add public woes and worries in this regards.

Sources in Ogra also told that regulator through letters to all Chief Secretaries including Political Agents (PAs) of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) has asked for strict action to provide relief to the consumers against the artificial price hike by the dealers. Similarly, the regulatory authority has asked the provincial and district authorities to take strict action against filling of CNG cylinder installed below the seats of public transport. The Ogra enforcement team has recently completed its visit to the plants of LPG marketing companies located in different areas of the country, sources also said, adding, that Punjab Chief Secretary in an official communication has assured the regulator of stern action against those CNG stations which are involved in filling the CNG cylinders mounted below the seats of public transport.

LPG Distributors Association Pakistan Chairman Irfan Khokar said that gas mafia is out to create artificial shortage besides defying Ogra notification regarding reduced price of LPG in the country. He alleged the LPG marketing companies over heavily charging the consumers and selling the commodity above the price of imported LPG to the country’s gas consumers already bearing heavy brunt of sky rocketing prices of essential commodities coupled with artificial CNG crisis for a long time. LPG is being used as a fuel for vehicles and domestic use in remote areas of the country particularly in south Punjab, Balochistan, interior Sindh, Gilgat Baltistan, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir as well. “Helpless masses of remote areas are waiting for the implementation of Ogra notification by influential LPG marketing companies and it has become a big challenge for the regulator to ensure its say in the presence of mighty gas mafia used to charge the consumers at their will,” Irfan Khokar said.

It is to note here that Ogra enforcement team has already disconnected gas connections of eight CNG stations located in different areas of the country and awarded them with heavy fine worth Rs11 Lac over filling those cylinders, which were fit below the seats in public transport.