ISLAMABAD Since the ironic gift of holy month of Ramazan to the masses in the shape of raise in LPG prices the other day, marketing companies have once again increased the prices of commoners fuel by another Rs 10/kg. According to the market sources, after the latest increase the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) has soared by over 75 per cent in a month and by 25 per cent in a weeks time. Unfortunately, there is no check on this arbitrary pricing mechanism that follows demand fluctuating at different times due to various reasons. This time it has been the holy month that normally jacks up demand abruptly, coinciding with massive flood situation across the country choking supplies and transportation. Since it is a deregulated industry without any appropriate post-deregulation regulatory mechanism in place, the cartels of the producers and marketing companies are simply unbarred. The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) finds this powerful mafia exploiting the poor consumers beyond its purview while the Ministry of Petroleum considers itself as helpless after the sectors deregulation. Resultantly, there is hardly any state outfit or watchdog to check the hegemonic practices, and cartelisation by the LPG mafia is exploiting the poor people that buy just a kilogram or even half of it as minimum daily need for fuel to survive. Despite the fact that they had increased LPG prices on August 11 by Rs 15 per kilogram a few days back, now the LPG companies have given yet another blow of Rs 10/kg taking to total price to Rs 115/kg. And that is only for central Punjab region while it keeps soaring the more it goes to remote or inaccessible areas like Swat, FATA, or AJK. After the latest increase a kilogram of LPG is now being sold at 150 in FATA and adjacent areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is alarming that rulers have been remained consistent in jacking up the prices of the poor mans fuel through the last decade or so. Former military regimes imported financial juggler Shaukat Aziz started this drive under the umbrella of General Pervez Musharraf and the incumbent so-called democratic government just followed the suit with rather an accelerated pace. And now the LPG that had replaced the kerosene oil as poor mans fuel is available at the highest prices as compared to other fuels including even the High Octane (HOBC), the rich mans fuel. Even the kerosene has now neared Supreme Petroleum price. At the same time, diesel oil that used to be the public transport fuel has also gone above the price level of Supreme Petroleum while the former used to be half of the latters price even in 2001 when Shaukat Aziz launched this drive of killing the poor economically under the name of international tariff linkages.