No LP Gas shortage or price hike: Government

Litro gas and Laugfs gas in Sri Lanka

The Government yesterday assured that there would be no shortage of LPG and that prices would not be increased despite world market rates having risen sharply.

In a bid to ensure uninterrupted supply to the market, the Cabinet of Ministers this week approved for the newly introduced but controversial domestic 18 litre liquified petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder to be sold at maximum retail price of Rs. 1,150.

In April, the State-run Litro Gas Ltd. introduced its 18 litre hybrid premium LPG cylinder at Rs. 1,395, claiming that it had higher efficiency. However, following investigations, both Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Moratuwa University had confirmed that the hybrid gas cylinder had 23-25% less gas than the normal gas cylinder, which is quantified at 12.5 kg. With the new move, the price of the hybrid cylinder has been reduced by Rs. 245.

“Given the global economic crisis, the world market prices of LPG have soared significantly along with other expenses related to it. In that context, the local LPG prices too have to be increased. However, the President, Prime Minister, Finance Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers agreed that the burden of the world price increase would not be passed on to the consumers,” Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena told journalists yesterday.

With the shortage of LAUGFS Gas, the State-run Litro Gas yesterday announced that it had sufficient LPG stocks to meet demand and that it would provide gas to all types of cylinders in any colour.

The Consumer Protection State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna said the 12.5 kg normal gas cylinders would be provided to the market without scarcity for the daily needs of consumers at Rs. 1,493.

When inquired, LAUGFS Gas Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya also denied speculation that the company was suspending imports.

(Source: Daily FT)