ISLAMABAD - Chief Executive Officer of SHV Energy Pakistan Sohail A Qureshi has said that Pakistans per capita Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) consumption currently is around 2.6Kg/year. This is one of the lowest in the world. Even countries in Asia have a higher per capita consumption; like in India it is 7.3kg, in Philippines 12kg, Thailand 29kg and Malaysia 75.5kg, says a press release issued by the SHV Energy. He was addressing the Fuelling Pakistan 2010. He said the LPG could play an effective role in the growth of Pakistans economy, provided long-term and consistent policies are formulated to support this sector. However, instead of growing, the LPG market has contracted by about 23 percent during the last few years. To expand the market, increased supplies are required which can be only obtained through imports of LPG. The government needs to reduce GST on imports to make it viable and economic for this purpose. Increase in LPG imports can offset any loss in revenue to the government. There are 85 LPG marketing companies and if they all have access to supplies, the competition will remain intense and consumer will get best possible price. Price controls are counter productive and cause shortages and volatility in the prices. They are easily by-passed through under-filling of cylinders which the poor consumer is unable to detect and gets fleeced because of it. Imports reduce as they become unviable and the shortages result in black-marketing. Price controls also lead to 'decanting into small, unsafe cylinders as the consumer is forced to buy LPG in smaller quantities due to shortages. The only and correct solution is to encourage and increase LPG supplies to the market through imports. LPG use in the auto market has reduced as vehicles rapidly converted to CNG due to its much lower price. To grow the LPG market, we need to expand the domestic/household market, which requires investment in cylinders by all LPG marketing companies in line with their sales. The Regulator needs to take action to combat this.