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Consumers suffer as LPG gas price higher than fixed rate in Khulna market

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Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) price witnessed a record hike recently amid increase in prices of essentials and fuel. But consumers are not getting this costly LPG gas at the government-fixed price in Khulna city.

It has become another blow to low and mid income group people as they have to pay Tk 100 to 150 more than the government rate for a 12-kg LPG gas cylinder.

Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) increased the LPG price by Tk 22.15 per kg to Tk 124.85 from the previous price of Tk 102.70 per kg for the month of February.

As per the new price, 12kg LPG cylinder cost has increased by Tk 266 as a retail consumer will get it at Tk 1,498 instead of previous price of Tk 1,232 including VAT.

Consumers alleged that there was supply crunch in the LPG gas market in the last two weeks, reports UNB.

Apprehending possible hike in LPG gas the traders stockpiled the gas cylinder instead of selling those, leading to shortage of LPG gas in market and the supply situation became normal after increase in gas price on February 2, they said.

A large number of people in Khulna city, municipality and adjacent village depend on LP gas.

Sohrab Hossain, a resident of Gobarchaka area of the city, said, "The government has fixed the price at Tk 1,498 for a 12-kg cylinder but the retailers are charging Tk 1,700. After arguments, I bought a cylinder at Tk 1,650."

Visiting different areas in the city, the UNB correspondent found that there is no 12-kg gas cylinder below Tk 1,600 anywhere. It is being sold either at Tk 1,650 or Tk 1,700 across the city.

Iqbal Hasan, a resident of Sheikhpara area of the city, said that the government set the price by keeping a profit of Tk 40/50 for wholesalers and retailers but they want to make more profit.

"The greed for profit of Tk 150/200 more is making the pockets of customers empty. But there is no one to see this," Iqbal added.

Birendra Nath, a resident of Sir Iqbal Road, said, "Shopkeepers insult us when we ask about government fixed price. We are helpless."

BERC officials said that the prices witnessed such an excessive rise due to huge increase in the prices of Saudi CP (contract price).

Last month, as per the Saudi CP, the LPG price was $599.59 per ton while the current month's CP was set at $790 per ton with increase by $190.25 per ton, he added.

Bangladeshi LPG operators normally import their products from Middle-East Market on the basis of Saudi CP.

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