KARACHI - The sale of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the local market has declined by 30 per cent due to increased rate of LPG. Keeping in view a setback to LPG business, the prices of LPG in the domestic market has been reduced to Rs. 65 per kg for the consumers against earlier price of Rs 78, Abdul Hadi Khan, Chairman LPG distributors association told The Nation. On a question regarding the investment of this industry he said that LPG industry has the investment of Rs 11.55 billion in the country. There are 77 marketing companies that are operating all over the country. Out of these companies, a few have allocated quota of LPG while other companies are importing LPG. "The daily production of LPG in the country is 1600 tones per day. This amount is sufficient to meet the needs of local market during summer. This is because the demand and supply is equal during the mentioned period. The demand for LPG stood at 2000 to 2200 tones per day during winter. This creates a huge demand and supply gap which has been overcome by its import. It was very expensive for the importers as they have to pay 16 pc GST on the import," said Khan. "The association has recommended the government to give relief to the importers by reducing the GST during winter. This will also help to curb the black marketing of LPG in the local market by the local producers," he added. "In January, 10,500 tons of LPG was imported in country. In February 3,200 and 2,500 tons of LPG was imported to reduce the demand and supply gap," he further added. While replying to the query about price setting for the LPG, Khan maintained that in January 2007, government has linked the local prices with the international market. But in December 2007, the decision was dropped. Now, the situation is that the producers of LPG are still fixing local prices of LPG according to the international markets trend. In January and February 2009, the international price of LPG was $380 per ton. Due to this fact, the LPG rates in local market were high. This badly affected the business of LPG industry and forced producers to low down the prices. OGRA should restrict the producers that they should not link LPG prices to the international prices. "Currently, the association has recommended that for the producer rate should be Rs 25,000 per ton. The share for marketing companies should be Rs 45,000 per ton while the dealers are getting LPG for Rs 40,000 per ton," said Khan. "Government should take measures to improve the situation of this industry in the country. LPG is the cheaper mean of fuel for commercial sector, auto sector and various other users. Its cheaper availability should be made possible to all consumers," Khan concluded.