The Ministry of Commerce and Industries on Friday announced purchasing 150,000 tonnes of gas from Azerbaijan to bring down the commodity price in the country.
Head of fuel enterprise at the ministry, Faridullah Sherzai, told Pajhwok Afghan NewsMohammad Shakir Kargar, special representative of the president, recently signed a contract from importing 150,000 tonnes of gas.
At least three tonnes of gas had arrived in Afghanistan southwestern zone, he said, hoping the price would come down with the delivery of the commodity to the country.
The ministry has also bough gas from Russia and Turkmenistan as part of plans to check the price and ensure availability in all parts of the country in the harsh winter.
He said the government had established 40 selling booths, including mobile sale arrangements, in Kabul to provide gas at low prices in the capital.
Currently, 2,000 tonnes of gas reserves were available at the Hairatan dry port, 1,000 tonnes in Aaqnina, as much in Kandahar, 500 tonnes in Pul-i-Khumri, as much in Badakhshan and 600 tonnes in Ghor province.
He said 2,000 tonnes of gas stocks were available at the General Directorate of Fuels and 7,000 tonnes in the Pul-i-Matak area of Parwan province.
Although the government has fixed the price of one kilo of gas at 55afs, the rate ranges between 48 and 52afs in some parts of Kabul. The priceis expected decline in the near future.
Smuggling the gas to Pakistan and lack of storage in the country were the main reasons for the soaring price, the official explained, asking the security personnel to prevent illegal transfers.
The private sector hada storage capacity of 50,000 tonnes while the government had17,000 tonnes, which was not sufficient, he concluded.