The two chief providers of cooking gas, Delta and Sol, saw their price of the product varying considerably as much as 32% in May of last year, 2011, said a Cabinet official.
Prices for the 20lb cylinder were calculated at $48.00 for one company and at $63.58 for the other. The prices established for the 100lb cylinder of cooking gas were $230.00 and $276.26 respectively for the two companies.
Cabinet said however, “Since government has fixed the price of cooking gas at $30 for the 20lb tank and at $140 for the 100lb tank, government’s subsidy has been calculated to be as much as $33.58 on each 20lb tank of gas and $136.00 on each 100lb tank of gas, sold to consumers. This subsidy is quite significant and totaled around $5 million for the year 2011.
Cabinet will engage suppliers of cooking gas to investigate whether a fairer pricing system, namely the Mont Belvieu System instead of the Mean Caribbean Posting, should be used as a yardstick for the standardization of the pricing of cooking gas imported into St. Kitts and Nevis.
Cabinet has already decided that offsetting taxes, due by the suppliers, against government transfers to the providers, will be suspended in order to improve transparency and accountability in government’s tax collection policy.