By Sumaiya Rizvi
The price of Domestic Gas will increase with effect from midnight tonight with the price of a 12.5 kg Shell gas cylinder up by Rs. 219 and Laugfs up by Rs. 323, the Consumer affairs Authority announced a short while ago.
Minister of Internal Trade and Cooperatives Johnston Fernando said, “We have allowed for an increase of Rs. 219 and Rs 323 for Shell and Laugfs gas respectively, considering the world market prices and since we didn’t increase during the Avurudu season.”
According to him the government had agreed to the price that Shell Gas had requested-that of which the price increase is-while it had declined the price increase of Laugfs Gas of Rs. 455. Therefore the new price of a 12.5kg Shell Gas cylinder is Rs. 1769 while a cylinder of a Laugfs Gas cylinder is Rs. 1744, he explained.
According to Minister Fernando the prices of gas is free of tax. Minister Fernando said the reason behind an increase of the largely locally produced Laugfs gas is due to a situation that takes place every two years.
“The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation takes a time off producing gas to carry out its maintenance, so when no gas is produced by them, Laugfs has to import their requirement ultimately resulting in a higher price increment compared to other times,” Minister said.
Meanwhile the Government was looking at amending the agreement with the Shell Gas company to benefit the consumer.
When contacted the Shell Gas Finance Director Remo Saldin said that Shell as part of its global strategy was reviewing its LP gas business in a number of countries, including Sri Lanka.
“We have run into problems with Consumer Affairs Authority and we are in arbitration, we have not agreed with the price increase but this time we are happy it is what we expected. Our arbitration will not weigh into the decision making of the global team reviewing our future in Sri Lanka,” Saldin said.