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Litro to withdraw controversial 18L cylinder

2 years ago

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‘Premium Hybrid’ to be discontinued in two months New Chairman cites concerns raised from various quarters By Pamodi Waravita Litro Gas Lanka Chairman Theshara Jayasinghe told The Morning yesterday (28) that the controversial 18-litre gas cylinder launched in April this year under the label “Premium Hybrid” will be phased out of the market within the next two months. “There were many concerns regarding this product raised by both the public and representatives of the public. As an entity that respects the voice of our customers, we have decided that the 18-litre gas cylinder has to be gradually taken out of the market, and this will be done within the next two months. It will be discontinued from circulation thereafter,” added Jayasinghe. In April of this year, Litro Gas Lanka introduced the 18-litre cylinder, priced at Rs. 1,395, claiming that it was more efficient and provided greater value for money than the common 12.5 kg gas cylinder product on the market. “Introducing a unique LPG solution to meet increasing consumer demand is a priority for the company. Our new and innovative Premium Hybrid 18-litre Cylinder is expected to revolutionise the LPG industry in Sri Lanka by offering outstanding economic benefit in a size that meets global specifications,” then-Litro Gas Lanka Chairman and CEO Anil Koswatte had said in a press release on the product’s launch. However, the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) consistently insisted that this product was a violation of multiple existing regulations, and claimed that it misled the public, as its weight deviated from the standard kilogramme-based measurement, and also as it was sold at an exorbitant price. Meanwhile, an extraordinary gazette was issued on 25 July, revising the maximum retail price (MRP) of the 18 litre/9.6 kg gas cylinder, according to each Province. Those selling such products were also instructed to display the weight in kilogrammes, thus allowing consumers to make an informed choice. Litro Gas Lanka and Laugfs Gas PLC are the only Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) distributors in the country. Laugfs Gas PLC Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya has said that since there are issues in opening Letters of Credit (LOCs) to import gas, and since banks are also facing a shortage of US dollars, the company would have to halt the importation of gas. While global market prices of gas have increased significantly, both Litro Gas Lanka and Laugfs Gas PLC have been requesting the Government to be allowed to concurrently increase local prices. However, the Government has been continuously rejecting these requests. Litro Gas Lanka, however, has stated that it can supply the demand created if Laugfs Gas PLC ceases gas imports.

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