Stating that liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders are being sold at higher prices than the prices set by the government, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said, warning action.
"It is noted that 12-kg LPG cylinders are being sold at prices of Tk100-200 more than the government-set prices. Monitoring will be increased from now on and action will be taken accordingly," he said while speaking at a workshop on the safe use of LPG cylinders in eateries yesterday. Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) organised the workshop.
The state minister said that all traders in the LPG sector should be brought under surveillance. The commission is monitoring the prices. But the retailers in the market increase the prices in different ways. Those who regulate LPG distributors also have responsibilities. The Commission may be checking prices in some areas. It is the distributor's responsibility to confirm prices in the areas concerned.
Nasrul mentioned that the demand for LPG in 2009 was about 66 thousand tonnes while it is now more than 14 lakh tonnes.
Referring to the policy requirements for the use of LPG cylinders in eateries, he said they dangerously keep four to five cylinders close to stoves, which poses a risk of accidents at any time. Along with BERC, organisations like Rajuk, Chittagong Development Authority, Cox's Bazar City Development Authority, etc should also look into this matter, the state minister suggested.
Stating that pipeline gas is no longer needed in residential buildings, the state minister said that everyone can use LPG very easily and safely by placing tanks under multi-storeyed buildings. Installation of such tanks can also be done area-wise.
The state minister said that state-run Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company has taken up a big project to replace the 50- to 60-year-old pipeline, the project will be completed by the next four to five years. He said that this will reduce gas theft.
The government has recently fixed the prices of eggs, onions and potatoes in its bid to contain the runaway food inflation, which hit a 12-year-high last month. However, the government's move did not have a significant impact on the market.
Experts have long suggested focusing on market monitoring rather than government price-setting.