Gas dealers warned against overcharging
KABUL (PAN): The Ministry of Commerce and Industries on Sunday warned of arresting and shutting down the shops of dealers selling gas for more than 65 afghanis ($1.31) per kilogram in Kabul, which needs 500 tonnes daily.
A team including intelligence operatives and representatives of the ministry, the Attorney General Office, the Kabul Municipality and fuel importers will jointly enforce the new price tomorrow.
Ministry spokesman Wahidullah Ghazikhel issued the warning at a news conference in Kabul, where the gas price hovers between 70 and 80 afs, despite the government's promise to lower the rate to 55 afghanis.
Gas rates remarkably soared in the capital after Eidul Adha, with one the price of a kilogram shooting up from 55 to 90 afs. Residents complain of high prices, blaming the government for negligence.
About 30 government-controlled outlets in Kabul are selling one kilogram of gas for 55 afghanis. Seventy private shops, buying the commodity from the authorities, are selling it for 59afs.
Ghazikhel told reporters the government-run shops had started selling gas for 54 afs a kilo and the number of private outlets had increased to 80. The ministry had the capacity to provide each shop with 1,000 kilograms of gas on a daily basis, he said.
The spokesman linked the soaring rates to non-existence of strategic gas stocks, absence of long-term import contracts and a halt to supplies by Kazakhstan in November 2011.
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