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Rising gas prices mar holiday
Latest Updated by 2006-01-04 17:18:08
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An irate Buji resident couldn't hide his anger when he called the hotline of a Chinese newspaper yesterday to complain about the price of a cylinder of gas exceeding the maximum limit set by the government.


"The gas price surge in my neighborhood is unbelievable. It is comparable to the crazy flat price rise in the first half of last year," Liu Mingjin was quoted by the Daily Sunshine as saying.


Liu had to pay 105 yuan (US$13.12) for a 15-kg cylinder of gas, which cost him 95 yuan just last November. The gas supplier insisted they were forced to charge premiums due to rising operating costs and dock service fees. The official ceiling price for a gas cyliner is 96 yuan.


A resident of Buxin, Luohu District, was unpleasantly surprised when she realized that she could bargain for the gas cylinder, likening it to buying cabbage in a farmer's market.


"I got 102 yuan for a bottle finally after I said I would complain to newspapers," she said. The resident produced a newspaper report that stated the official price limit to refute the 105 yuan asked for by her regular supplier.


Shenzhen's commodity price watchdog obtained commitments from all gas suppliers Dec. 22 that the price for a 15-kg cylinder of gas will be kept under 96 yuan from Dec. 26 to Feb. 5, the first working day after the Spring festival holiday. The price, however, doesn't include home delivery fees inside the city, which gas dealers add to the price of the bottle.


Driven by the rising oil prices on the international market, gas suppliers in the city, such as the Gas Group, Shennan, Yanpeng and China Merchant Petroleum, raised the price of a gas cyliner from 97 to 102 yuan Dec. 15, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported earlier.


The gas price had been pushed up four times from 85 yuan in September, the newspaper said.


There are 670,000 households using pipeline gas in the city while most of the others using gas cylinder. The pipeline gas price has remained stable at 14.2 yuan per cubic meter for residential areas since last November.


A supervisor with the city's gas suppliers association said gas prices always dropped after the festival season, according to his experience.


Editor: Yan

By: Source: Szdaily web edition
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