DOHA: Some 300,000 transparent (Shafaf) cooking gas cylinders are being imported to help ease their shortage ahead of Ramadan.
Orders for the supply of the cylinders have already been placed with the exporters, local petroleum products distributor and cooking gas supplier, Woqod said yesterday.
A top Woqod (Qatar Fuel) official said that the corporation is encouraging ‘Shafaf’ retailers to accept metal cylinders from buyers in exchange (for the new cylinder) and give them a discount of QR50.
This way an increasing number of people, both citizens and expatriates, will be encouraged to replace metal gas cylinders with the safer ‘Shafaf’ ones.
This was disclosed by the CEO of Woqod, Ibrahim Jaham Al Kuwari, during a discussion with members of the Central Municipal Council (CMC) yesterday.
The representative body had invited Woqod officials to discuss the shortage of ‘Shafaf’ cylinders and the impact on general inflation of a recent hike in diesel prices.
The metal gas cylinders are to be phased out by Woqod by 2017. The CMC urged Woqod officials at the end of their discussion to raise the “exchange offer” for the metal cylinders from QR50 apiece, saying that would help the corporation phase them out faster.
Al Kuwari told the CMC that plans were afoot to manufacture ‘Shafaf’ cylinders locally, and partnership deals to the effect had already been signed with a Norwegian and an Indian company that specialise in producing such devices.
He said his corporation was increasing the number of outlets that were selling ‘Shafaf’ cylinders so as to make their access to the people easier.
More supermarkets located in residential areas, as well as outlets housed in petrol station premises, will be given retailing rights. The CMC urged Woqod officials to accord priority in giving away dealership rights to retailers, to metal cylinder suppliers.
“They already have storage and marketing facilities and have all the required safety measures in place,” said the CMC. “So you must first consider them when you are deciding dealership of ‘Shafaf’ cylinders,” the representative body told Woqod.
Earlier, a prominent CMC member, Mohamed bin Zaafir Al Hajri, from Al Shahaniya, came down heavily on Woqod and said people were suffering due to a severe shortage of gas cylinders.
The CMC had much earlier referred the matter to its internal Services Committee for study and recommendations, which came up for a threadbare discussion at the floor of the House.
Al Kuwari said in reply that his corporation was committed to providing best services to the people and reiterated that 300,000 ‘Shafaf’ cylinders were being imported due to help ease shortages amidst rising demand ahead of the fasting month.