Ministry warns traders against gas price hike

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Trade and Commerce on Monday accused some entrepreneurs of illegally importing gas and causing a price hike of this basic commodity in the holy month of Ramadan.

Musafar Qoqandawi, the ministry spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News importers had been invited to place bids for the legal import of gas from Turkmenistan.

The Central Asian nation had assured Afghanistan 13 years ago that it would provide gas at a lower price in case of need, he said.

“Unfortunately, some traders got this information, misused the offer and exploited the situation to raise the price to more than $230 a tonne by bidding in the open market” he added. 

Qoqandawi warned the businessmen to stop the practice; otherwise they would be black-listed, their licences cancelled and relevant countries informed not to do business with them.

He added the matter would be discussed at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The Ministry has fixed gas price at 55 afs per kilo but it is selling at around 75 afs.

There have been allegations that gas smuggling to neighbouring Pakistan is one of the reasons behind the price

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