ISLAMABAD (APP) - Unethical forces in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) sector are out to exploit the gas crisis as the people are compelled to opt for the fossil gas in view of chilly weather. "The rising trend in LPG prices has made life miserable for a common man. The unscrupulous forces have earned about Rs 300 billion through unjustified price hike," Chairman of LPG Distributors Association Muhammad Irfan Kokhar claimed while talking to APP on Sunday. He said he had furnished details in this regard to the National Assembly Standing Committee, urging for a judicial probe into the malpractices in LPG sector during last four years to expose the anti-market forces and bring them to justice. He urged the NA committee, which would meet on Jan 17-19, to work out a workable solution to the issues of the LPG and provide relief to the common man. He said, " These elements (marketing companies) are undermining the govt's popular steps for the people's welfare. We appeal to the govt to take effective measures to provide relief to the common man," he added. He said if the gas was sold as per relevant policy then LPG prices should be Rs 77-80 per kg in the country while it was being sold at Rs 165 per kg in Gilgit. According to an estimate, people involved in black-marketing are minting money since the start of winter season, he added. "LPG producers and marketing companies have made a cartel and they are exploiting the poor masses of the country through unfair price hikes," he added. He also called for launching a grand operation against manufacturers of substandard cylinders to mitigate risks to human lives. " According to estimates, 2,780 human lives have been lost in substandard cylinders-related incidents during last five years, which warrant action against the manufacturers," he said. He claimed that unscrupulous elements were busing mostly in markets of Gujranwala and Lahore selling of substandard cylinders. He said about 300 industries were manufacturing low quality cylinders and as many as 200,000 substandard cylinders landed in markets across the country in one year. He claimed that the OGRA had issued licences to only eight manufacturing companies of cylinders. Moreover, he said the LPG was mainly used by the poor people and the government was needed to take solid measures to resolve all issues relating to the LPG including its prices. He said the rising trend in prices of the gas has hit the masses of remote areas. He added that action was needed against market forces that were hiking prices without any justification.