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    Gas dealers continue to defy govt warning

    KABUL (PAN): Kabul-based gas dealers on Wednesday continued to sell a kilo of gas for 80 to 85 afghanis ($1.7), defying the Ministry of Commerce-fixed rate of 65afs.

    On Sunday, the ministry announced fixing the rate of a kilogram of liquefied gas at 65afs, warning of sealing the shops that overcharged consumers.

    A day after the warning, 10 shops were sealed in Kabul in the first, second, third, fourth and 17th police districts, as part of the campaign to control the commodity price.

    On Wednesday, the rate hovered between 80 and 85afs in Asmayee Watt, Qala-i-Zaman Khan, Qala-i-Fathullah, Company, Khair Khana, Dahn-a-Bagh and other parts of the city.

    Dil Aqa, a gas dealer in the Qulab Chakan locality, and Noorullah, another seller in Dah-i-Bagh locality, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had purchased a kilo of gas for 75afs and sold it for 80afs.

    But Ramin, an official of a gas supply firm, spurned the dealers' claim as baseless, saying they imported a kilo of gas for 57afs and sold it to dealers for 67afs.

    The Cabinet has fixed the wholesale price of a kilo of gas at 57afs, but residents reject the decision as an ostentatious move.

    "I bought a kilo of gas for 80afs today," a resident of Pul-i-Pacha locality, Jamil Ahmad, said, adding the government's move to seal shops was aimed at silencing the people.

    A resident of Khair Khana locality, Sara, said no action had so far been taken against overcharging dealers in her area, where a kilo of gas accounted for 85afs.

    However, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Wahidullah Ghazikhel, said mobile teams had been assigned to control prices of essential commodities in the city.

    He claimed so far 25 gas shops had been sealed in Kabul after they were found overcharging consumers.