LP gas is being sold at a higher price
LP gas is not available in many places at the rate fixed by Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC). In Barguna, Barishal, Bogura and Rajshahi have been reported to be selling at higher prices.
The BERC has reduced the price of this import-dependent fuel as the international market price has come down. In November, if it was Tk. 1,313 per cylinder (12 kg), it was reduced to Tk. 1,228 on December 2. In November, Saudi CP was 870 dollar for propane and 830 dollar for butane which has dropped to 795 and 750 per tonne this month.
The price announced by BERC does not seem to be very effective. Representatives of Barta24.com reported that the sellers are still charging exorbitant prices.
The district correspondent of the coastal district of Barguna visited the district headquarters and Taltoli upazila and reported selling at higher prices. Bashundhara LP gas is being sold at Tk. 1,270 at Janani Telecom in the district headquarters. However, Nasir Uddin, owner of Janani Telecom, said that other companies were selling cylinders at Tk. 1,180 to Tk. 1,200. Aparupa Telecom has also been seen buying and selling at the same price. Abdul Manna Mallick, owner of Mallick Traders, a dealer in Taltoli Upazila Sadar, told Barta24.com that Bashundhara cylinders were being sold at a wholesale price of Tk. 1,250 and other companies at Tk. 1,120.
In response to a question, he said, we are selling at the price we got. If you get a new price, you will definitely sell less.
According to Ganesh Das, Staff Correspondent (Bogura) of Barta24.com, 12 kg cylinders were sold at Tk. 1,320 in Bogura till Saturday (December 4). The sellers said that the price has come down but they are selling cylinders at Tk. 1,250 instead of Tk. 1,228 as they had bought at the previous price. A grocer, who did not want to be named, said he delivered the cylinders within 10 minutes of calling the customer's house. Therefore, Tk. 50 more is taken than the price fixed by the government.
Abu Obaid, owner of Shubh Sanitary in Bogura suburban area, said his shop sells Jamuna at Tk. 1,230, Bashundhara at Tk. 1,250, Omera at Tk. 1,250, Bengal at Tk. 1,230, JMI at Tk. 1,230 and Fresh at Tk. 1,230. Masudur Rahman, owner of Mahbub Chaul & LP Gas House in Khandar area of the city, said that although they used to sell gas cylinders at Tk. 1,320, they have been selling them at fixed price since Saturday.
In the divisional city of Rajshahi, LP gas is not available at the price fixed by the government. The wholesalers are selling at the retail price fixed by the government. And retailers are charging more. The price of 12 kg of Bashundhara and Omera LP gas is being sold at Tk. 1,260, BM at Tk. 1,230, Jamuna, Lafs and Beximco at Tk. 1,250 in the city.
Bengal hardware owner Mamun said, "We are buying at Tk. 1,228, there are other expenses starting from transportation cost." So it is not possible to give to the consumer at that price. Akash Saha, distributor of Omera Gas, said, "We are selling gas to retailers at a wholesale price of Tk. 1,228. We don't know how much the retailers are selling; we don't even need to know. Patuakhali and Barisal have also been reported to be selling at higher prices.
However, a different picture was found in Rangpur district. In the Khalashpir market of the district LP gas is being sold at a slightly lower price than the price fixed by BERC. It has been reported that it has been sold at Tk. 1,180 to Tk. 1,200.
On April 12, BERC announced the price of LP gas for the first time. It was then stated that the import price-dependent product would be based on a monthly price based on the price announced by the Saudi state company Aramco. If the CP goes up and down, the price of LPG will go up and down. Importer's other commissions and expenses will remain unchanged.
The commission was increased to Tk. 441 in October in the face of importers' objections to the commission announced by the BERC. Dealers and retailers' commissions were increased to Tk. 34 and Tk. 38 respectively. And the dealers are selling this Tk. 38 in their pockets in many places.
BERC chairman Abdul Jalil told Barta24.com that various government agencies have been asked to monitor the rates. BERC alone cannot do the monitoring. Action will be taken if specific complaints are received about selling at higher prices.
He further said that in case of any news, DC and consumer department will be directed to take action. Besides, any BERC official will be given the responsibility to take action. Under no circumstances will you be allowed to charge more.