ISLAMABAD -  The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has asked the Federal Board of Revenue, Customs and Karachi Port Trust Authority to provide the details of the latest data about the LPG imports in the country.

“Import of LPG is deregulated and doesn’t come under the domain of the Ogra. However, to verify the claim of the LPG marketing companies regarding the shortage of LPG caused due to decline in its imports, the Ogra has asked different bodies concerned to provide the import data,” official source told The Nation here on Wednesday. “We are hopeful that next week we will receive the import data from all the three bodies which will help clarifying the issue of LPG imports,” the official added.

Despite the passage of one and a half month, the LPG marketing companies are not ready to follow the directives of the Ogra regarding LPG price determination and are selling LPG on much higher price. In response to the Ogra’s letters, some LPG producers and marketing companies have furnished their production and sale data to the Ogra, the official said.

On March 22, the Ogra has asked the LPG marketing companies that “In connection with subject issue, your company, under Section 21 of Ogra ordinance 2002 and in terms of Rule 18(2) of LPG rule 2001, is advised to submit detail information inter-alia monthly sale volume, details of directly attributable cost to LPG product, other incomes etc, for the last three financial years along with the audited accounts thereof, for the respective financial year. The Marketing companies were asked to furnish the information by March 27”.

Earlier on March 13, the Ogra has asked the LPG production companies to provide the record of sale price charged from the marketing companies for the month of February and March.

The Ogra has issued the new prices on the directives of the Lahore High Court. However, the LPG companies are not obeying the decision of the Ogra, the offiical said. Instead of decreasing the prices of the LPG 11.8kg cylinder to Rs 910, the marketing prices have further increased the LPG prices by Rs50 per kg for the residential cylinder. The main justification by the marketing companies for the price hike was that the decline in the LPG import has caused the shortage in local market and therefore the prices were increased. However, the Ogra has rejected their claim and said that as per their estimate the monthly average LPG local production is around 55,000-60,000 Metric Tons and is sufficient to meet the domestic sector demand.

According to a company involved in the import of LPG, this year was twice of the busiest LPG season and 70 percent of the jetty was occupied by the LPG carrying vessels, the official further commented while ruling out any decrease in the import of LPG.

In February after analysing the Saudi Aramco LPG prices for the past three months, the Ogra has determined that the prices of LPG will be Rs77,220 per Metric Ton or Rs910 for 11.8kg cylinder. The notified prices would be applicable only to locally produced LPG while the imported commodity would remain deregulated and would be supplied to industrial consumers and the auto sector.

Responding a query that why the Ogra don’t resort to action against the LPG companies for not following the authority decision, an Ogra expert said that the Ogra has adopted step by step approach and first they will issue show cause notice to the LPG producing and marketing companies and then in case of disobedience using its authority the regulatory body can cancel the licenses of the LPG producing companies.

The Ogra has the power to cancel the licenses of the producing companies if they don’t follow the LPG prices determined by the regulatory body. The official said that to resolve the issue of the LPG prices a meeting with the representatives of the LPG association is scheduled with the Ogra on April 4.