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Apr 9, 2020

G.O.B. Fires Back at LPG Importers; John Briceño Asks Gov’t to Reconsider

The government today responded to statements made by attorney Audrey Matura on behalf of three liquefied petroleum gas importers as it relates to the G.O.B. blocking the companies from reducing the retail price of butane. In the wake of the state of emergency, the importers intended to provide consumers with a promotional rate on butane. But that would be in contravention of a statutory instrument passed in November 2019 which fixes the retail selling price of LPG.  And so, the Belize Bureau of Standards fired off a letter, essentially threatening the importers to take away their inventory and followed up in a release today stating that the controlled price is based on an established formula and that neither of the three major importers made representation to the government on lower acquisition prices.  Earlier today, News Five spoke with Opposition Leader John Briceño via Skype about the issue. Briceño says that during this crisis, he is appealing to the government and the Bureau of Standards to reconsider.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“I find that decision to say that they are going to charge these companies for selling their butane below the price that the government has set up. I find this fool-hearted; I can’t understand how they can make such a decision at a time when we are in a crisis.  If the butane companies want to reduce their prices further than the price that they have set up, then they should be encouraged to do so. We are all in crisis, people have a cash flow problem, people are not working and if these companies want to reduce the price of butane even lower, then they should be encouraged. And I am appealing to government; I am appealing to the Director of Bureau of Standards to reconsider his position and to not take out any kind of legal action against these three companies.”

 

The Managing Director of the National Gas Company (Belize) Limited, Doctor Gilbert Canton issued a message today saying that it stands in solidarity with the Belizean people as the country navigates through the COVID-19 pandemic and the national state of emergency. The release goes on to say that the N.G.C. will “continue to prepare Belize’s sovereign capacity to directly access world markets for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), thereby strengthening Belize’s self-sufficiency and preparedness for emergencies such as this. World market prices of petroleum products, including LPG acquired for sale in Belize have fallen significantly caused in part by the pandemic. This lower acquisition price should be passed on to the Belizean consumer by way of the regulatory procedures established for LPG price setting.”


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