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Despite promises of cut, gas price spirals

Despite promises of cut, gas price spirals

Nov 30, 2011 - 18:24

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Despite government promises of cutting the gas price to 55 afghanis ($1.13) per kilogram, the rate in Kabul has shot up to 130afs, dealers said on Wednesday.

Residents complained that in addition to the hike, there was a shortage of gas. "Gas can hardly be found in our area," Ajmal, a resident of Chehel Satoon area, said.

Dealers and shopkeepers sold the commodity only to their relatives and friends, Waisuddin, another resident, told Pajhwok Afghan News. "One kilo cost 120 to 130 afs."

But a dealer in the Asmayee area, Hamidullah, complained of short supplies by the companies, which had jacked up prices.

Syed Massoud Rostaq, another gas dealer, said since the government was yet to resolve its problems with Turkmenistan, the hike would continue.

On November 21, the Ministry of Commerce and Industries promised gas prices would be lowered to 55 afghanis within two days as a result of an agreement with three major importers.

Previously, officials from the ministry and Attorney General's Office were sent to the Hairatan port, connecting Central Asian countries with Afghanistaninfo-icon, to discuss the alleged hoarding of the commodity by some traders.

Wahidullah Ghazikhel, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, said 500 to 1,000 tonnes of liquefied gas was imported to Kabul on a daily basis.

The ministry-fixed price of one kilo was 59afs and whoever, the spokesman said, warning of cancelling permits of those violating the rate.

Ghazikhel said the ministry did not have adequate staff to monitor prices in all parts of the city. However, he promised efforts at monitor the areas where the prices were high.



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