No CAA approval for 18l gas cylinders

  • CAA Denies reports of regulated pricing

By Imsha Iqbal

Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) says that it will not set a price for the recently introduced 18L gas cylinder by local suppliers without informing the Authority as the move will not certainly protect the consumers, The Morning Business learns.

Both Litro Gas Lanka Ltd. and Laugfs Gas unveiled a 18L gas cylinder with the government remaining firm in not increasing the gas prices regardless of escalating global gas prices and up to date these cylinders remain for purchase in the market.

Speaking to us, CAA Executive Director Thushan Gunawardena stated that the CAA has not decided to reduce the price of the aforementioned gas product, and that it is an incorrect statement made by Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardana. 

“We (CAA) have not said anything of that sort,” said the Executive Director, indicating that the CAA has not made any decision on reducing the price of the 18 litre product.

Further elaborating on the practicality of issuing a price for the gas product, CAA Chief Executive Gunawardena said that these said actions are not solutions to the matter. He questioned the impact on the country’s carbon footprint with the introduction of this LPG product, since this 18 litre cylinder, which weighs 9.7 kg, needs to be filled frequently in comparison to the usual domestic gas cylinder which weighs 12.5 kg. This impacts the country’s overall carbon footprint.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a carbon footprint is “a measure of the impact your activities have on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced through the burning of fossil fuels and is expressed as a weight of CO2 emissions produced in tonnes”. Thus, it measures the impact of individual behaviour on global warming. 

“When you have more filling intervals, that increases the carbon footprint of the country,” he said, explaining that a lorry that carries the 18 litre gas cylinders, as opposed to the 12.5 kg cylinders, for distribution to sellers has to double its trips, while consumers have to go to the gas re-filling stations twice in the current circumstances; both these ultimately add to the carbon footprint of the country.

Accordingly, fixing a price or changing the price of this product in order to favour the consumers is, in fact, not profitable to anybody in a sustainable manner, and it is simple-minded, he said.

“We are prolonging the agony, since putting a price is not a solution, but only an option,”  he said, highlighting the gravity of the issue with regard to this low-weight domestic gas product. 

“If they (gas companies) are concerned about the environment, they need to ensure that each can is filled to its maximum, which does not create an issue,” he said, implying that half-filled gas cylinders can directly impact the environment, while also leading to the consumption of more time and energy to gain temporary profits, and the company not working optimally.

Adding to what has been said thus far, Gunawardena said: “We (CAA) are not ready to propose such cover-ups, but rather we want solutions. Proposing a price is a silly solution.”

Litro Lanka introduced its “premium hybrid” 18 litre product for the price of Rs. 1,395 while the 12.5 kg product is priced at Rs. 1,493 in the market.