CAIRO: MP Hisham Al-Kady called for an investigation into the soaring prices of butane gas cylinders as well as their constant shortage in the market.
In his investigation request, Al-Kady placed the blame for the crisis on the Ministries of Petroleum, Social Solidarity and Local Development.
Al-Kady and National Democratic Party MP, Gamal Al-Zeiny, filed the request to the aforementioned ministries and expect an immediate response, Al-Kady said.
Representing the governorate of Qena, Al-Kady told Daily News Egypt that the problem of butane gas cylinders in Egypt has reached its peak, with prices soaring to LE 25 from LE 3.
He claims that there is a secret agreement between vendors and traders to increase prices and [in turn] increase their profit.
The sheer distance between butane gas cylinder factories – mostly located in Cairo – and their distributors all over Egypt s governorates compounds the problem, Al-Kady said.
He also bemoaned the absence of an official monitoring authority to oversee the distribution process.
However, according to Yehia Mahmoud, media consultant at the Ministry of Social Solidarity, all butane gas cylinder distribution points are closely monitored, placing the onus for the shortage of cylinders in some governorates on the Ministry of Petroleum.
The Ministry of Social Solidarity created a hotline where disgruntled consumers can report exaggerated cylinder prices, Mahmoud said.
Another hotline (19096) was created for consumers to report defective cylinders.
According to one operator who responded to a call from Daily News Egypt, the consumer is only obliged to pay LE 4 for a cylinder to be delivered to his home.
Mahmoud added that the ministry imposes harsh punishments on vendors taking advantage of the current shortage.
Cabinet is currently discussing new regulations that would substitute butane gas with natural gas which is cheaper, cleaner and will avoid the eternal problems of butane gas cylinder shortages, Mahmoud said.