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Apr 8, 2020

Attorney Audrey Matura Says it is A Scheme to Protect Government’s Interest in National Gas Company

The Bureau of Standards regulates the retail price of butane, but not the wholesale price; it is the importers and wholesalers who control that. World oil prices have been plummeting due to the COVID-19 and the importers, who source LPG from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, say they are trying to transfer these benefits to consumers. So why would the government intervene? According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow at a House Meeting back in August 2019, the purpose of the National Gas Company Limited agreement is to ensure that the price of butane is reduced and that the Mexican-owned companies cannot hold the country at ransom. Attorney Audrey Matura alleges that politics is at play in which G.O.B. is trying to protect the interests of the National Gas Company, which will, when construction is completed, have the monopoly in importation of LPG.

 

Audrey Matura

Audrey Matura, Attorney-at-law

“As you all know, the government has passed a legislation that creates a monopoly. A monopoly that the government is part of it and it is called the National Gas Company. For their projections to work and for them to make the millions they hope to make on the backs of consumers, it is in the interest of the government to keep prices high. And do the math of it, if the prices are high, just think about what is the real cost of the LPG that that new monopoly will be spending and what is the profit margin. But if these companies are being penalised for lowering prices, it is really the politics of money and power that is at play. And we are prepared to show you the figures so that you understand that sadly in this fight for the government to create a monopoly and to keep prices high so that they and their partners and cronies remain in a position to make a lot of money, they cannot make the consumers in this country know that the prices in LPG worldwide has reduced and that the consumers deserve that reduction. That’s the fight. The elephants are fighting and you the consumers are being trampled.  The position of our clients is that they have no problem with the new company forming and operating. All they want is for there to be competition in the market. It is a free market; we are a democracy. We are not China and we are surely not any of those states like Russia where the state controls everything. That’s what they want us to go into. When you have a state-owned company, along with select private sector wanting to create a monopoly—cause that’s the real monopoly. But they did reverse psychology and said our clients are monopoly. There are six importers of LPG right now; our clients only happen to be three of them. So what they are doing is that they are making sure that they are protecting their self-interest and using the power of the state.”


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