It’s probably only possible in Bangladesh. Three years have passed since LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) was introduced. The pricing for these LPG tanks being sold to consumers have no set price regime. So, while there has been much talk about setting a fixed price for the standard 12.5kg LPG tank, there has been no effective measure taken by authorities to enforce it. And in the absence of any regulatory measure, supplier companies have taken advantage to set their own prices. The situation is quite ludicrous because a government panel found that these cylinders should be retailing at no more than Tk 703, whereas the various market players are charging customers anywhere between Tk1,100 – Tk1,300 per cylinder.
Stupendous profits are being reaped at the cost of the customer. Why do we not have MRP (Maximum retail price) stamped on LPG bottles, as we do for other commodities on the market? City residents have been forced to opt for LPG cylinders to cook food because there’s simply not enough gas pressure or availability in many parts of the city. Also, new apartment blocks coming up have not been getting piped gas as per policy.
This does not mean we let the market forces play it out amongst themselves to fix any price they want. Big business will always resist any regulatory measure to curtail their abnormal profits, but it is the duty of authorities to stop business entities from fleecing customers at will. The government, as the regulator, has a duty to look after consumers’ interests and we are sorry to state that it has not done so in the case of LPG.
Source: The Daily Star.