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Strike if new standard on gas imports not lifted: Traders

Strike if new standard on gas imports not lifted: Traders

Aug 26, 2018 - 20:00

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Liquefied Gas and Oil Importers Union in western Herat province on Sunday warned of staging protests if new standards imposed by the Afghanistaninfo-icon National Standard Authority (ANSA) were not removed.

The protesting union member and oil traders told a press conference at the Chamber of Commerce and Industries in Herat City that more than one thousand takers of liquefied gas had been stopped at Herat ports after new standards were imposed by ANSA.

Younus Qazizada, head of Liquefied Gas and Oil Importers Union in Herat, said that ANSA sent a letter last week to the local administration and the private sector, in which traders have been asked to import quality liquefied gases according to winter and summer variations in the price.

“The norm ANSA has imposed on gas imports are not in line with the norms of gas producing countries such as Turkmenistan, Iran, Russia and Iraq,” he said.

“The standard announced by ANSA for winter and summer gas qualities is just an excuse, it is a government’s problem and it needs to be resolved,” he added.

A number of gas importers in Herat warned of going on strike and said they paid 50$ extra on each ton of liquefied gas after the ANSA sent the letter of new standard.

Abdul Rahman Ahadi, another liquefied gas importer in Herat said: “We have been importing this gas for years and Turkmenistan does not agree with us on the new standard.”

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Herat also expressed concern over imposing new standard on gas imports and said the issue would increase corruption.

However, ANSA acting head for Herat, Abdul Wasay Khadimi, rejected gas tankers had been stopped at the province’s two ports and said a committee of senior officials had been created to travel to petroleum producing countries and discuss the issue.

“Unfortunately our traders misinform the public and significantly increase the gas prices, but a technical committee comprised of commerce minister and a technical team would travel to our neighboring countries and discuss environmental, economic and depreciatory sides (of petroleum use) and find solutions to problems,” he said.

According to Liquefied Gas and Oil Importers Union, 70 percent of gas is imported through Herat ports to the country.

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