The last time that LPG Importers threaten to go on a national shutdown was in the month of January when they were in total disagreement with Belize Natural Energy Limited becoming a retailer of Liquid Petroleum Gas. After much dialogue an agreement was made between the Government and the LPG Importers and the threat to carry out a national strike was put on hold.
But five months after, LPG Importers are again threatening to go on a national strike if the price for a 100lb cylinder of butane gas does not increase by $14.00 effective immediately and if the deadline for the mandatory use of scales is not extended for 30 days. Here in Orange Walk the current price for a 100lb cylinder of butane is $127.00. With the increase, consumers would be paying a whopping $141.00.
During a meeting held yesterday with representative of GOB, LPG Importers demanded an equivalent increase in the price of a 100lb cylinder since the acquisition cost increased by $14.00 in the month of January.
While we understand that Government denied LPG Importers the 30 day extension for the use of scales, the $14.00 increase was accepted. We understand that Government proposed that there be an $8.00 increase in the price of 100lb cylinder of butane gas this month and a $6.00 increase next month. That offer, however, was rejected by LPG Importers.
So will there be a national shutdown – well, nobody is too sure at this time. CTV3 News understands that if LPG Importers do go on strike, retailers have given their commitment to remain open for business while Belize Natural Energy Limited is also prepared to assist with supplies.