KARACHI: Producers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), including Parco, have increased the gas price by Rs9.60 per kg, or Rs9,594 per ton.
The price of one kilogram of LPG rose to Rs95 per kg from Rs85 in Karachi on Wednesday.
The price of an 11.8kg cylinder has risen by Rs113 to Rs1,035 and that of a 45.4kg cylinder by Rs436 to Rs3,976.
In Lahore, the price of one kilogram gas went up to Rs103 per kg and that of 11.8kg cylinder to Rs1,108 and 45.4kg cylinder to Rs4,266.
The LPG price rose to Rs108 per kg in Peshawar and Rs112 in Fata.
The spike in LPG prices is a second shock for consumers who have been paying Rs4.51 more for a litre of diesel since Nov 1.
The two increases came at a time when Eidul Azha is just 15 days away. Owners of vehicles running on LPG and diesel will charge higher prices for transporting sacrificial animals, public transport fares will increase and LPG rickshaw owners will demand higher fares.
The share of the auto sector is 50 per cent in total LPG sales in the country. The domestic consumer’s share is 30 per cent and that of the commercial sector 20 per cent.
The chairman of LPG Distributors Association of Pakistan, Irfan Khokhar, has called a countrywide strike on Nov 25 in protest against the gas price hike.
He claimed that LPG prices had been raised by Rs12 per kg and that of 11.8kg cylinder by Rs140.
He said the increase was in violation of a decision taken by Ogra on Sept 8. Ogra had fixed the maximum consumer price for 100 per cent locally-produced gas at Rs986 (11.8kg cylinder), for 100 per cent imported LPG at Rs1,192 and for mixed gas (imported and locally-produced) at Rs1,031.
All Pakistan LPG Distributors Association chairman Abdul Hadi Khan, however, rejected the strike call given by what he called an ‘unregistered body’ led by Irfan Khokhar.
Instead of going for a strike, Mr Hadi said, his association had decided to stop taking LPG load if the producers did not withdraw in 10 days the price hike decision.
He said the local production cost of LPG was Rs15,000 per ton. The producers, he alleged, had formed a cartel and were exploiting the situation because of the coming winter.
He urged Petroleum Minister Naveed Qamar to withdraw 17 per cent sales tax on LPG imports to end monopoly of the local producers.
According to data on large-scale manufacturing issued by the Federal Bureau of Statistics, local LPG production during 2009-10 declined by 8.6 per cent to 366,549,000 litres from 401,386,000 litres in 2008-09.
The production dropped by 32.5 per cent to 43,051,000 litres in July-Aug from 63,852,000 litres during the same period last year.
The consumption of gas goes up to 2,000 tons per day in winter from 1,900 tons. Local companies produce 1,400-1,500 tons per day — a deficit of 500 tons.