ISLAMABAD - Despite tall claims of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority of taking stringent actions against the exorbitant prices of LPG, the retailers and wholesalers continue to fleece people right under the nose of authority.

An 11 Kg cylinder is sold for Rs 1650-1750, in main markets it is being sold at 1650 but in far away markets the same cylinder is sold up to 1750, said Khalid Hussain, a distributor at Barakahu.

He further said that 15 kg cylinder was sold from 2000 to2100 in retail market whereas commercial cylinder was being sold at Rs.6200.

“It is almost the same price which has been a week earlier, he said, adding, it is rare Ogra staff visits retail shops. Two three times they came to my distribution, as my office is on main road, received money for tea and snacks and left. I have never heard they visited any retailer or distribution interior Rawalpindi or suburbs of the capital, You see there are hundreds of LPG refilling shops, filling cylinders openly, which is not only illegal but also very dangerous, these shops are spread on every corner of twin cities, as in winter, natural gas becomes a luxury, and people have no choice but to use LPG, he explained.

The LPG marketing companies last week increased the prices of the commodity thrice; first by Rs 5 per kg, on Sunday by Rs 10 per kg and on Tuesday by Rs 10 per kg. After the current increase, the commodity prices in Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Hyderabad and Sheikhupura swelled to more than Rs 135 per kg against Rs 115 per kg. While in Murree, Muzafarabad and Fata, the LPG prices exceeded Rs 170 per kg. In Rawalpindi and Islamabad gas refilling rate was between Rs160-170 per kilogram in different areas of the twin cities. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MP&NR) has recently claimed that a summary for regulating the LPG prices was under consideration, but was not sent to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet for final approval, due to some unknown reasons.

In the new proposed policy, the government is considering setting LPG price at Rs84.6 per kg in a bid to provide relief to consumers. According to this summary marketing and distribution margins are expected to be fixed at Rs25 per kg.

Oil and Gas regulatory Authority has recently claimed that taking a prompt action against the reported arbitrary price hike of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), the authority has launched a crackdown against overcharging marketing companies and their dealers and dispatched inspection teams to visit and monitor the LPG marketing companies and dealers across the country. But despite passing many days the market rates remain unchanged.