Butane crisis escalates; gas cylinders hit LE40 on black market

The shortage of butane gas cylinders intensified in Cairo and the provinces Wednesday, with the price of a single butane gas cylinder in some areas reaching as high as LE40 on the black market. Clashes over limited numbers of available cylinders, meanwhile, have been reported outside local butane distribution outlets.

In a bid to assuage the situation, Giza Governor Sayed Abdel Aziz has set up additional distribution outlets in the provinces, mandated with providing gas cylinders to the public at government-set prices. He warned outlets against hoarding cylinders in order to sell them later at higher prices.

"Outlet managers sell gas to their relatives more than their ration cards allow," complained Giza resident Mohamed el-Asmar. "Then those relatives give the extra cylinders to unemployed guys like me–for a commission–to sell for them later on the black market."

The Social Solidarity Ministry, meanwhile, has called on competent ministries to begin implementing a "coupon" system for butane gas distribution, whereby the country’s 15 million ration-card holders would receive annual coupons indicating the number of cylinders to which they are entitled each month.

Under the new system, a family of three will receive a single gas cylinder every month, while a family of four or more would receive two cylinders. The ministry will also appoint supervisors at every distribution outlet in order to ensure that no one receives more than their fair share of cylinders.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

Related Articles

Back to top button