OUR STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD

Taking cognisance of artificial increase in the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has directed marketing companies to publish their respective prices for convenience of the general public.

According to a press release, the Authority gave this direction in a meeting with representatives of the licensee LPG marketing companies. The meeting was called on the reports of abrupt increase in the prices of LPG, usually referred as poor man’s fuel.

The representatives of the LPG marketing companies briefed the meeting that sudden increase in the demand is typical of the winter season, which was exploited by certain profiteers. OGRA asked the companies to adhere to their license conditions and make their dealers and distributors to follow the procedures and price notifications and warned of taking strict action against the defaulting company or its distributor. In case of repeated violation, the licence of the company may be revoked as maximum punishment. The authority also told the companies to increase their sale-points or certified distributors in order to facilitate the end-users.  The authority directed both the LPG companies and the local administration to take action against the decanting (illegal refilling of cylinders). The authority has already fined at least 17 LPG marketing companies. A spokesman of the authority said that certain inspection teams were still out in the field that could pay any surprise visit to some LPG marketing company or its distributor whether a complaint or otherwise.

According to the spokesman, the authority cannot determine the price of the LPG as it is the deregulated business but the companies are supposed to notify their respective reasonable price and distributors are supposed to follow that. Overcharging could cost a distributor to lose dealership of a company.