Business & Economy
Written By: Faisal Darem
Article Date: Apr 10, 2011 - 11:07:58 AM
The price of propane gas has seen a string of sharp price rises over the last two weeks, with the cost of a 20-litre cylinder jumping from YR1100 to more than YR2000.
According to officials, this price hike is due to preventing the transfer of cylinders from Marib province to Sana’a as a result of the current political situation.
Officials said that roads used to transport the gas from Marib to Sana’a have been cut by some tribesmen. Vendors and private shops are said to have encouraged this situation as a means to increase prices. Taha al-Fusiel said that gas vendors have been hoarding supplies in order to create artificially high prices with gas prices increasing by 100% as a result.
He said that vendors were the main beneficiaries of the crisis and suggested that the government sells gas directly to citizens in order to combat the distributor’s monopoly.
“Yemen is a developing country so any increase in basic materials such as gas will have many negative economic effects,” said al-Fusiel. “The Yemen Gas Company has failed to fulfill its duties due to the shortage of propane gas in the market. The Ministry of Oil must work to fix this problem quickly or the consumer will lose trust in the governmental.” Abdul-Mlik al-Ansi, a propane tank vendor, said that “life is very difficult” because of the gas shortage. “Traders are raising their prices every day.
I am suffering because I have five children. This is our season to sell gas and make a profit as market needs increase,” he said. Akram al-Selwi, a government employee, said that without gas his family would suffer. “For three days I was looking for gas without any result.
I need gas for my home otherwise we have to buy food from restaurants. What can I do with my small salary which doesn’t exceed YR30,000 a month?” he asked. Mostafa Naser, head of the Study and Economic Media Center, warned that the gas price increase only compounded problems.
He said that gas prices increased 110% compared to last year. Gas is currently sold at YR2,000 per cylinder at private gas shops or vendors. The government sells the same gas cylinder for YR1,100. Gas is mostly available though at private shops or from vendors.
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