1,000 tonnes of gas reaching Kabul today
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): One thousands tonnes of liquefied gas will be supplied today to Kabul and another 500 tonnes to northern provinces from the Hairatan Port in northern Balkh province, an official said on Tuesday.
The supply would help overcome the gas shortage and reduce the commodity price, the spokesman for the Balkh governor, Munir Farhad, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
A delegation from Kabul, accompanied by Balkh officials, on Monday visited the port to resolve the problem. Despite a shortage at the port, traders were asked to supply available stocks to local markets.
Farhad said the move would help bring down the prices and resolve the shortage. The abrupt change in weather conditions had led to a sharp increase in gas rate, he acknowledged, saying earlier a tonne sold for $1,000. But now its rate has been fixed at $940 a tonne.
He also blamed traders for hoarding gas at the port after the sudden change in the weather.
Residents of Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh, also complained about the sudden increase in gas rates. Syed Ajmal recalled one kilogram sold for 55 afghanis before Eidul Adha.
But the rate shot up to 100 afghanis per kilogram after the festival, he said, adding the current price was about 70 afghanis.
A member of the delegation and the acting provincial council head, Haji Ghulam Abbas, hailed the meeting with gas dealers as a success. He said the dealers had agreed to supply gas to the market for 45 afghanis a kilogram. As many as 1,500 tonnes of gas available at the Hairatan Port was being supplied to the market.
However, gas dealers say they should not blamed for the increased rates. Head of Afghan Trans Company, Dr. Najibullah, said prices had increased in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan before Eid.
He said before Eid, one tonne of gas was purchased for $700, but the rate jumped to $1,000 during Eid days. The trader cited lack of transport facilities as another reason for increased gas rates.
The governor's spokesman said the Ghazanfar Trade Company had promised importing 2,000 tonnes of gas through the port.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.